Buffalo Bills fans are excited for the first pre-season game of the season, but private parking lot owners feel they are the one being penalized.
Lot owners and users say they are not happy that Erie County has installed a "Road Closed" sign at the intersection of RT20A (Big Tree Road) and Abbott Road. The sign gives the impression that all of Abbott Road south of New Era Field is closed - when only the portion in front of the stadium property is shut down during games and several hours earlier.
"People will see that sign and not come down to use my lot or others," said Eric Matwijow, owner of Hammer's Lot that is kitty-corner to the stadium.
There are several private parking lots run by homeowners in the streets just south of One Bills Drive and off of Abbott Road. The owners say parking lot income helps offset the inconvenience they face with traffic and crowds every time there is a Buffalo Bills home game.
A spokesperson for Erie County said there was no "conscience effort" to make any changes. It was just a case of not having enough traffic signs because of all the road construction that is being done in Erie County. The spokesperson added that all policies and procedures that were in effect last season for Abbott Road south of the stadium are still in effect this year.
7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly has more in his report.