BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It looks like controversial changes to Buffalo's parking policies are not a done deal.
On Wednesday, Common Council President Darius Pridgen filed an amendment with the city clerk. This move would potentially restore free parking on the weekends and after 5 p.m. on weekdays. Pridgen's amendment would also restore free parking until 8 a.m.
This amendments would take place at all times except during special events, and events at the Theatre District, Keybank Center, Sahlen Field, and Canalside, where use of meters shall be in effect until 10:00pm. As of now it is unclear if signage will be changed to inform the public that an event is taking place.
The amendment is not enforceable, as a Common Council vote must take place on Tuesday, January 8th. Council President Pridgen says he has the votes to get it passed. According to the City, Pridgen and his amendment have the support of Mayor Byron Brown.
In a Facebook post, Pridgen thanked everyone who voiced an opinion on the issue, saying, "listening is not a crime." Many feared the parking changes would keep people from venturing downtown.
The city has faced heavy backlash since introducing its plan, which in part, calls for metered parking times to be extended from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays. A Change.org petition protesting the legislation has since garnered more than 21,000 signatures.
In addition to these parking times, the city is also doubling the hourly rate from $1.00 to $2.00.
City officials say the parking changes are being enacted to keep people from staying in specific parking spots for extended periods of time, while also aiming to encourage drivers to use downtown parking garages.