New Yorkers, how safe is your elevator? This map tells you

TRD New York /
Jun.June 13, 2019 04:13 PM

Search by your address on The Real Deal’s exclusive interactive map to see any elevator-related violations lodged with New York City’s Department of Buildings since the 1980s.

(Map created by Yoryi De La Rosa)

Any building with a violation will include a description of the issue and the penalty imposed, as well as whether the problem is still ongoing. To date, the city is owed $7.3 million in outstanding elevator-related violations, nearly half of the fines levied for active violations.

The data was compiled by The Real Deal from public records as part of a seven-month investigation into elevator safety in NYC by Kathryn Brenzel and David Jeans, which revealed that at least 22 people have been killed in passenger elevators or shafts in the city since 2010.

Of the 35 million elevator trips that New Yorkers take everyday, most don’t go wrong. But when they do, it can be horrifying. Such as when a man in Queens in 2014 attempted to load a refrigerator on the fourth floor into an elevator that wasn’t there; the fall killed him. Or a mechanic who was working on an elevator that was barely a year old in 2016 at 50 Broadway when his arm was severed at the elbow.

Timothy Hogan, the DOB’s deputy commissioner of enforcement, told The Real Deal that accidents are “few and far between, when you consider there are about, ballpark, a billion elevator lifts a year in the city of New York.”

The DOB is charged with overseeing the 63,000 passenger elevators in the city (which excludes escalators, dumbwaiters, private lifts in single-family homes, Port Authority buildings like 1 World Trade Center, federal government-owned buildings or MTA subway stations).

By city law, elevators are required to undergo annual inspections by the DOB’s elevator unit. It has 41 inspectors.


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