BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Saturday was most likely the final Saturday in Buffalo that car owners could find street parking for free. Early January is when the City of Buffalo's newest parking laws will be implemented, including a two dollar charge per hour, elimination of free parking on Saturdays and the extension of paid parking until 10 p.m. at night.
“It’s a giant revival and all of the things that they’ve done for the city to encourage people to come. How do you throw this left hook out of nowhere and say ‘Oh yeah, you’re going to have to pay this added fee though,'" Community Activist, Nate Boyd, says.
The city's administration told Common Council President, Darius Pridgen, that this is by no means a way of generating revenue, instead, an effort to turnover more parking spots.
“Honestly I was shocked, I couldn’t believe that a city would penalize people when we see great economic growth in a city as great as Buffalo," Lisa Martineck, owner of Capello Salon on Franklin Street, says. “We have a lot of clientele that comes from the suburbs and we want to see them come downtown and we want to see them as happy downtown parking as they are in the communities in the suburbs.”
Both Martineck and Boyd fear that the change in parking policy will deter more people who live outside the city from making the drive downtown.
Pridgen says lawmakers will revisit the parking overhaul in April to see if any changes need to be made.