City Deems Busy Downtown Parking Garage 'Unsafe'


UPDATED: Wednesday September 18, 2013 2:02 PM

Problems at a downtown parking garage are turning routine commutes upside down for drivers.
 
The city says the garage is not safe. In fact, there’s been at least one report of concrete falling on a vehicle.
 
The drivers that usually park at the garage at 56 East Long Street were greeted with signs that read “Danger! Do Not Enter!” Wednesday morning.
 
“I just got here and saw the sign. I'm ready to go into my place of employment and tell them I have no place to park. I don't know what is going on. I don't want to leave my car here,” said Julie Carmona.
 
The Columbus Department of Building and Zoning Services provided 10TV with a copy of the order that they sent to the garage owner, Long Street Garage LLC.
 
Officials highlighted violations and defects of the building.
 
The document said that “multiple areas” of the garage are showing signs of "deterioration and fatigue.” The city says concrete is cracking and falling from the ceiling in parts of the parking area.
 
The letter goes on to say that the "the building is unsafe and dangerous to human life."
 
Some drivers who have paid for the month say garage operators still allowed them to park in the building.
 
Others, like daily user Samuel Cooper, were turned away.
 
“It definitely isn't in the best condition, but it is not that bad where I'm scared my car is going to fall through a floor,” said Cooper.
 
City building officials say they don't have the power to shut down the garage yet, but the owner has 30 days to do one of three things - make repairs, vacate the building or demolish it.
 
Some drivers are considering their options for parking.
 
“I pay to park here, and this place is falling down anyway. I pay good money to have to come to work and park here,” said Julie Carmona. “I don't think a lot of us have a choice. There's no place to park downtown.”
 
10TV made multiple calls to ABM Parking Services and an engineering representative for Long Street Garage LLC, but they have not returned.
 
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