Concerns grow over elevators in downtown garage

Posted at 5:45 PM, Feb 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-26 21:22:13-05

San Diegans who recently saw Hamilton at the Civic Theater downtown, or had any business at City Hall may have parked in the massive garage that's just steps from both buildings.

The city owns that 1,140-space parking garage, called the Evan Jones Parkade - for the founder of Ace Parking.

Many city workers also use it daily, since they get an employee discount. But the garage has also become a source of frustration among them - and in some cases, much worse. 

Numerous city employees told 10News that the elevators often breakdown, especially when it rains. That forces some of them to walk up 10 flights of stairs after a day's work - instead of waiting longer for the elevators that are working.

But a notice posted on the city's website paints a much darker picture. 

It says the city has responded to more than 200 calls for service for the elevators in the last year, and that breakdowns have increased 20 percent in the last six months. 

"The elevators have now become unsafe," the notice says. "There is the increased possibility of persons being trapped in a broken-down elevator, needing immediate medical attention and not being able to get it."

Additionally, the permit posted in one elevator is two years expired.

"I'm going to zip up there and hopefully everything wil work out fine," said Andy Jones, of Scripps Ranch, who parked on the 10th floor in a visit to City Hall. "That's a lot of stairs to climb."

City spokeswoman Nicole Darling said the elevators are safe and routinely inspected. She said the notice is actually an environmental document, and was strongly worded to speed up approval for repairs.

The city plans to replace the controls for all four of the building's elevators, for $1.8 to $2.2 million, but doesn't have a start date. 

A spokeswoman for Department of Industrial Relations says the elevator permits actually expired in September, but the city was late on requesting its permit renewal. The city sent the request last week.