I wrote in my July 26 column that we needed to get the elevators fixed in the parking structures in Downtown. Well, City Hall was listening. Martin Pastucha, director of the Department of Public Works, called to update me on the status of the elevator repairs.
It turns out that City Hall is in the middle of undertaking elevator repairs at Parking Structures 1,2,4 and 5. City Hall had an assessment done last year; the repairs are a result. There were many recommended repairs to ensure reliability and safe access to the elevators in those structures that city officials plan to keep intact.
We have two structures that are being demolished — numbers 3 and 6 — so there are no repairs there that are of a safety nature, so no work is being done on them. With structure 6 being rebuilt in 2012, I can only imagine what it will do to the traffic, but hopefully the long-term benefits will be worth it.
Personally I am very happy to note that the structures are being repaired and that the elevators at Parking Structure 5 are working reliably again. I use that one at least twice a week, and sometimes more. The work is progressing so well that City Hall has just approved a 50 percent progress payment to the contractor for the work completed to date.
I also use Parking Structure 4 a lot because of its central location on the Third Street Promenade and easy access to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. It’s a popular lot when the Farmers’ Market is going on, but usually it has a great many open spots. However, because it’s a taller facility, not having an elevator working can make getting to your car more of a mountain climb.
Pastucha and I had a good conversation and then he followed up with an e-mail detailing the repairs that are being undertaken and the progress. It is anticipated that the work will be completed by the end of August, with the majority of work at structures 1 and 2 already completed.
I wanted to commend him and the rest of City Hall for jumping on this work and getting it done efficiently. It’s nice to know that our city officials are paying attention and are responsive to those harping voices like mine.
One of the things that have come out of this for me is the realization of how much I use the parking structures. A few months back I wrote about the increase in the parking fees after regular business hours and how it annoyed me and it pushed me to start using the Big Blue Bus.
I still use the bus, but this made me revisit the whole issue of what common resources I use, and how I value them. To be honest, in some ways that is the point of raising rates, it’s to drive people to use public transport when possible, but it also is to pay for the service. In the case of parking structures, there are service providers who keep the structures clean and monitor them for safety.
When I really looked at how often I was using the structures, and how much I was paying in reality for them, I have to say that it’s a heck of a deal. For the amount of times that I am in and out of them, I pay between $5 and $10 a week, which is reasonable.
I’m happy to report that City Hall is doing a great job and that when I raise an issue I get a timely response, and not just a “we’ll look into it, and get back to you in six to eight weeks,” but a real answer is provided with real progress being made that is verifiable.
David Pisarra is a family law attorney focusing on father’s rights and men’s Issues in the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 664-9969.