ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Once a popular parking lot when the movie theater was open, the 2nd St. garage on Gold is now a place many say they steer far away from after being littered with trash and human waste. 

“This garage was great. I used to park here all the time and everything. Now it’s scary. You are afraid to go into such a place because you don’t know what is going to happen to yourself,” said Albuquerque resident Timothy Olguin.

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Some residents say the city-owned garage has now become a destination for trouble with people using it as yet another place to sleep and hang out, leaving trash behind and it’s not uncommon to see human feces, urine, and vomit. “It’s just sad we aren’t paying attention to that; they just pee and they use the facility like its a restroom and camping area,” added Olguin.

Downtown business owners say it’s indicative of the problems they face at their front doors everyday… scaring people off from downtown. “They try to go pee in there or potty in between the cars too, so my clients, my customers, see that all the time and it’s like, come on guys it’s not your house its the street,” said Diaz Kitchen and Sushi Bar Owner, Manuel Diaz.

When asked about the problem last month, the city could not say how often the garage is cleaned or patrolled. However, a spokesperson for the Department of Municipal Development today says Parking Services walks through and patrols the garages for trash and messes daily. The Department of Solid Waste says they clean daily on a block-by-block basis. However, Albuquerque City Councilor Renee Grout says it’s not enough. “It is against the law to defecate in public and it’s against the law to use drugs in public and we are not enforcing the laws and they need to be doing that to help these people out.”

The city says it isn’t aware of this being an issue at other parking areas downtown but encourages people to make reports to 311.