Are Buffalo parking garages safe? State report shows concerns

Posted at 12:33 PM, Jan 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-10 18:15:56-05

A December 2017 report from the office of the New York State Comptroller shows concern over the way the City of Buffalo manages its parking garages.

During the last decade, only four of the eight active city-owned parking structures have had an inspection.  According to the report, all four inspections show no urgent repairs were necessary, however, there were 37 issues identified as high priority. 

It goes on to state officials provided documentation showing 19 of the identified issues have been repaired.  Officials state that 14 of the other 18 issues have also been addressed, but were unable to provide documentation. 

Officials also indicate they deferred the remaining four issues for a later time, but did not provide any further documentation.

In addition to the Mohawk, Main Place, Turner and Auspurger ramps, which had been inspected in the last decade, the city also owns the Gallagher ramp, which was last inspected in 2005, as well as the One Seneca and Fernbach ramps which the city was unable to provide documentation on prior inspections.

The city-owned Adam ramp was not included in the report.

City-owned parking structures are operated by Buffalo Civic Auto Ramp (BCAR), which consults with the city on repairs.  The City Department of Parking works with BCAR to complete repairs to ramps, as well as the elevators within the ramps.

BCAR contracts for inspections of the city's 18 parking structure elevators.  In the most recent round of inspections, 14 of the 18 elevator inspections reported violations or comments on identified issues.  Only four elevators passed the inspection. 

Officials told the comptrollers office that they were unaware if violations, such as a properly maintained fire extinguisher, ascending speed protection, and overdue full load and rated speed safety tests have been repaired. 

BCAR did, however, confirm 1.34 million dollars of work is currently being completed on elevators at the Fernbach garage.