One of the common gripes from all morning attendees at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center is the absolutely ludicrous crowding that occurs every day at the elevator bank. The morons who designed the CJC have two sets of elevators.
On the west side of the building, there are four elevators that run all the way up to the 10th floor. A fifth elevator runs from the basement all the way to 20, but good luck catching it. Half the time, it has been commandeered by bailiffs trying to get a jury panel up to a courtroom.
On the east side of the building, there are six elevators that will take you from the first floor up to the 10th floor through the 20th floor. On any given weekday, one of these elevators will be out of commission, as more and more people jam their way past the metal detectors in the lobby into the elevator bank.
There are no escalators and there is no public access to stairways.
All rules of civility are thrown out the window as it quickly becomes every man and woman for themselves. Elbows are thrown and insults are hurled. Tensions flare in an already tense building, and the whole damn situation created every morning just isn't a safe one.
I took this picture this morning just to give you some idea of what it looks like, but it doesn't really even begin to do the chaos justice. Trust me, when you are longing for the spacious and roomy atmosphere of a New York subway, you are really in cramped quarters.
Oh, and don't forget that when you actually do get on an elevator, you get to deal with these folks.
A couple of years ago, the Fire Marshall came out and inspected the courtrooms and hallways and declared there could be no furniture in the seldom-used hallways behind the courtrooms. Apparently, furniture created a fire hazard. Keep in mind, these areas that they addressed aren't accessible to the general public and are never congested. But, the good folks with the Fire Marshall decided any type of furniture in the hallway, like, say, a chair, could be a threat to human life in the event of a fire.
But somehow they manage to overlook the elevator situation that happens every day?!
I'm really not trying to stir up trouble here (this time), but something really needs to be done about this situation.