After a disabled Army veteran speaks out over concerns of elevators not working in downtown Nashville, the city responds.
Gary Linfoot was paralyzed during a helicopter crash in Iraq in 2008. He has relied on a wheelchair ever since to get around. He said he has frequently noticed elevators not working at both ends of the pedestrian bridge in downtown Nashville. He most recently noticed the problem over the weekend after attending the Tennessee Titans preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.
“I am pretty capable,” said Linfoot. “I can get up and down those hills. There are others who will have a lot of difficulty getting up and over the bridge.”
Gary’s wife Mari recorded video on her cellphone of him wheeling himself up the bridge’s steep incline. She posted the video on Facebook in an effort to bring attention to the problem.
“If you don’t know someone in a wheelchair, you don’t realize how hard it is,” said Mari Linfoot. “You want everyone to be able to enjoy our beautiful city, and enjoy it equally.”
The Linfoots also filed an online complaint with the city of Nashville. They received a response a day later that the issue was being addressed.
A spokesperson for Metro Public Works said in a statement, the problem was that the air conditioning in the elevator’s mechanical room was not working which causes a thermal overload to the mechanical system. The overload turns the elevator completely off to avoid any possibility of fire. This is a required safety mechanism within the system. Kone and Otis Elevator Companies, the contractors for these types of specific repairs, were on-site to make the repair.
The Linfoots said they hope the recurring problem is fixed, so everyone will have access to downtown Nashville.
“It seems like we should come up with a better maintenance schedule so these thing don’t happen, and address them quickly,” said Mari Linfoot.