As the summer begins to settle in for 2011, I can’t help but flash back to last year, when brownouts and heat surges were the bane of many elevator riders, who were stalled out more than a few times all over the world. One of the major issues is not only power outages, but also that the majority of elevators are up to current standards, even though they may be decades old. For these reasons, many places are looking to replace entire elevator systems, not only for a better transportation network, but also to stop people getting trapped.
For instance, a recent story in the Contra Costa Times cites a recent decision by a local county to add a whole new elevator system, due in part to the number of people getting stuck:
“County Internal Services Director Tom Tindall said the hall’s 11 elevators have been in operation for more than 50 years and are due for replacement, even though they meet current code requirements. He said the county’s Chief Executive Office has identified $3.2 million in “extraordinary maintenance funding” to modernize the elevators. If the Board of Supervisors signs off on the project, the upgrades could be completed in 20 months.”
When pitching officials on the proposed project, there were a number of examples used to show the need for brand new elevators. According to the article, one supervisor recalled an instance when one of his staffers was actually stuck in an elevator cabin for over an hour at the top of the government building. This type of problem wasn’t atypical at the Hall of Administration:
“Two cashiers with the Treasure and Tax Collector’s Office said they were terrified when an elevator that was supposed to take them to a higher floor descended erratically into the basement instead, lurching the entire time.”