BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Buffalo Common Council and Mayor Byron Brown have agreed to change downtown parking access, rates and times, but they may continue to change.
Thursday afternoon Buffalo Parking manager Kevin Helfer says they heard the public's reaction, and they jumped into action.
"We've said from the very beginning, this parking plan is going to be fluid, there's going to be things we think are right -- that are not right."
Under the new agreement, evening and weekend rates would still apply to event parking only around the KeyBank Center.
The plan would also create additional new parking spaces and hold rates in place until the city has an opportunity to review the plan's impact.
Helfer says to clear up any confusion - people should follow the directions on any posted sign around the city while the new parking rates are phased in throughout the city over the next 6 to 8 weeks.
The city also is working with the Buffalo Roam parking application - which is the only way to pay for parking around KeyBank center, to develop a page that will help address any and all questions about parking.
It will use social media to help give advance notice of events in the downtown area.
On Wednesday, Common Council President Darius Pridgen filed an amendment with the city clerk.
According to Darius Pridgen, he and Mayor Brown agreed to;
Suspending Saturday and evening parking rates except during special events and events held in the Theatre District, Sahlen Field, KeyBank Center, and Canalside. Requests that the Departments of Parking and Public Works undertake a public awareness and education campaign to ensure a better understanding of and compliance with the new parking changes.
Pridgen tells 7 Eyewitness News that before the measure was even passed, common council anticipated having to amend it.
"When the administration proposed this, we were clear that we would not do this without there being a 'look-back' period so we can make changes."
Helfer says that while this may seem sudden, he has been in discussions with businesses downtown for years to find a solution to what they say is a problem with people parking in front of businesses and hogging spaces all day.
"So we raised that to $2.00 an hour so they're not going to be encouraged to park in front, and take up that spot for the whole day," He said. "That's the logic behind it."
Last week, the Common Council approved a measure that doubles the hourly street parking rate from one dollar per hour to two dollars.