Council Passes Bills to Address Parking Garage Safety

The entrance of the collapsed parking garage in Lower Manhattan, April 2023. The package of bills aims to fill safety gaps to avoid such tragedies in the future. Image Credits: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office.

On May 23, 2024, the New York City Council passed a package of bills to improve parking garage safety by identifying and addressing parking garage structural deficiencies. These bills, Int. 135-A, 170-A, and 231-A, were created in response to a parking garage that collapsed at 57 Ann Street in Lower Manhattan on April 18, 2023, which killed garage manager Willis Moore and injured five others.

At the time of the collapse, the garage had two open Department of Buildings violations from 2014 for the elevator, and four open Environmental Control Board violations for loose concrete in danger of falling at various locations from 2009, ceiling slab cracks, missing concrete covering steel beams, and defective concrete from 2003.  That parking garage also held more cars than its intended load. The bill package aims to address gaps in parking garage safety and inspections. Speaker Adrienne Adams stated, “Addressing structural safety issues in our city’s parking garages by keeping them in good repair can save lives and prevent future tragedies.”

Int. 135-A

Int. 135-A requires a loadbearing capacity study of garages and increased the frequency of inspections be conducted by the Department of Buildings (DOB). The parking garage loadbearing capacity study requires assessing the size, age, materials, and structural design of the parking garage structure.

The Department of Buildings will oversee this effort by submitting to the mayor and the speaker of the council, the parking garage report and any recommendations based on their findings no later than 1 year after the effective date of this local law. To ensure the public is aware of the safety of the parking garages, the safety report finds shall be posted on the DOB’s website.

Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, the bill’s sponsor, stated that “by requiring a loadbearing capacity study for parking garages, our city will better identify structural issues before disaster strikes This legislation is a proactive measure to bolster our infrastructure to make it safe, reliable, and capable of withstanding everyday use. Our commitment to rigorous inspections and oversight will save lives and build greater public confidence in our city’s facilities.”

Int. 170-A

Int. 170-A will double the standard civil penalties for certain Department of Buildings-enforced violations when issued to the owner of a parking structure. This bill promotes improved compliance with Buildings safety and maintenance parking garage regulations by owners of a parking structure. This bill  will allow Buildings to enforce daily penalties for violations for failure to maintain a parking structure.

This law will take effect 180 days after it becomes law, except that the commissioner of buildings shall take such measures as are necessary for the implementation of this local law, including the promulgation of rules, before such date.

Majority Leader Amanda Farias, who sponsored this bill, stated her legislation “is to serve as a key deterrent for parking structures across New York City.”


Int. 231-A increases the frequency of parking structure inspections to a four-year inspection cycle instead of a six-year inspection cycle, that was mandated by Local Law 126 of 2021. The bill also requires follow-up assessments to be conducted within two years after a parking structure is deemed safe with repair or monitoring.

The bill will take effect upon the completion of the current six-year inspection cycle on January 1, 2028.

Council Member Crystal Hudson, the bill’s sponsor, stated her legislation “[will] keep our neighbors safe and help us bolster New Yorkers’ sense of security and serve as a tangible step toward ensuring our city’s government is a proactive force to prevent future tragedies like that of 2023” referring to the parking garage collapse at Ann Street.

By: Chelsea Ramjeawan (Chelsea is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2025.)



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