City Council Passes More Parking Garage Safety Regulations

The new regs mandate more frequent inspections and larger penalties.



As the due dates approach for one-time initial observations and Subcycle B filings for parking structure filings, the City Council recently passed a package of bills to improve parking garage safety by identifying and addressing parking garage structural deficiencies.

The new regs mandate more frequent inspections and larger penalties.



As the due dates approach for one-time initial observations and Subcycle B filings for parking structure filings, the City Council recently passed a package of bills to improve parking garage safety by identifying and addressing parking garage structural deficiencies.

The recent bills were passed to improve parking garage safety and building integrity in response to the parking garage collapse in Lower Manhattan last April. The collapse resulted in the death of the garage manager and injured five others. At the time of the collapse, there were various open violations for loose, defective, and cracked concrete throughout the building structure. Specifically, the garage had two open DOB 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. The parking garage also held more cars than its intended load.

Following the collapse, the Department of Buildings (DOB) inspected hundreds of garages across the city and issued multiple full and partial vacate orders. 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.”

Local Law 126

Local Law 126 requires owners of parking garages in NYC to hire a professional engineer registered with DOB as a Qualified Parking Structure Inspector (QPSI) to assess the condition of their parking structures every six years and file a compliance report with DOB, similar to the Facade Inspection and Safety Program (Local Law 11 of 1998). DOB maintains an active list of QPSIs at

The condition assessment is what the QPSI files with DOB at least once every six years. As part of the condition assessment, in addition to a summary of findings and recommendations, the QPSI will classify every significant condition as one of the following:

  • Safe. No repair work is needed, and the garage is safe until the next inspection cycle.
  • Safe with Repairs and/or Engineering Monitoring (SREM). Minor damage to the garage framing elements are found, and the QPSI will provide a timeline to address the issues.
  • Unsafe. Severe damage to the garage framing elements poses a hazard to people or property.

The filing dates are determined by community district and grouped into subcycles. To access a map of parking structures and the applicable filing cycles, you can visit Structures in Subcycle B (Manhattan Community Districts 8+, and Brooklyn) have a deadline of Dec. 31, 2025, for their first inspection filed with the DOB. They’re also required to submit a one-time observation to the DOB by Aug. 1, 2024. This one-time initial inspection requirement came about as a result of DOB’s amendments to Local Law 126 that became effective last November.

For this initial inspection report, the rules say that a QPSI must assess the parking structure’s condition, including evaluation of structural components, fireproofing and fire stop systems, waterproofing systems, and wearing surfaces. The rules state that the QPSI’s observation must be based on the garage’s age, type of construction, exposure, and appurtenances, as well as the history of maintenance and repairs. This initial observation is to be filed with DOB.

New Parking Garage Safety Bills

The following legislation mandates more frequent inspections, increased civil penalties, and structural assessments to ensure the integrity of the city’s parking structures.

Int. 135-A. Int. 135-A requires a loadbearing capacity study of garages and increased the frequency of inspections be conducted by DOB. The parking garage loadbearing capacity study requires assessing the size, age, materials, and structural design of the parking garage structure. Once the study is completed, DOB is required to report recommendations based on its findings to the mayor and City Council speaker within six months of the bill’s effective date, and make the report publicly available within a year.

Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, the bill’s sponsor and chair of the City Council’s Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 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 DOB-enforced violations when issued to the owner of a parking structure. This bill promotes improved compliance with building safety and maintenance parking garage regulations by owners of a parking structure.

Majority Leader Amanda Farias, who sponsored this bill, stated her legislation will “serve as a key deterrent for parking structures across New York City” and “will double all initial violations related to parking structures with the exception of sections 28-301.1 and 28-302.1, which had varying fees dependent on class and violation description. This is to create uniformity around parking structure violations and ensure the fees New York City have in place are a strong deterrent from mismanagement.”

This bill will allow DOB to enforce daily penalties for violations for failure to maintain a parking structure. It will take effect 180 days after it becomes law, except that the DOB commissioner must first take measures to implement the law, including promulgating rules, before that date.

Int. 231-A. This bill increases the frequency of parking structure inspections from a six-year inspection cycle mandated by Local Law 126 of 2021 to a four-year inspection cycle. 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 Jan. 1, 2028.

Council Member Crystal Hudson, the bill’s sponsor, stated her legislation “[will] 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 in Lower Manhattan.