Is This Elevator Going Down?

City inspections lag badly

In a city that has had deadly porch collapses, nightclub disasters and broken river walls, the Tribune's special report today about elevator inspections is especially sobering.

"Almost 70 percent of the city's elevators weren't inspected in the past year, despite laws that require annual inspections. Some city elevators have not been looked at since 2001," the paper reports.

"Perhaps of greater concern is that after an elevator fails an inspection, the city doesn't have a record of whether it was brought back up to code, according to the latest data obtained by the Tribune."


Should you start taking the stairs? Well, it wouldn't hurt.

The Trib says no serious elevator-related injuries have been reported recently - but notes that it usually takes a tragedy before the city acts.

You can always check the certification on any given elevator to see the last inspection date. (The elevators at Marina City haven't been inspected for three years, for example.) But that's about all you can do - the city doesn't seem to have plans to remedy the situation, even though one of the mayor's favorite solutions - privatization - has been done successfully in New York City.

"To keep up with annual inspections, the city contracts out work to private companies certified through the building department," the Tribune reports. 

You can check elevator inspection results by building address on the Tribune's database.

After that, it's rider beware.

Steve Rhodes is the publisher and editor of The Beachwood Reporter, whose headquarters is located on the third floor at the top of the stairs.

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