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Parking concerns as medical campus continues to expand

Posted at 6:33 PM, Oct 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-30 18:33:36-04

Rick's Cycle Shop has been operating at the corner of Allen and Franklin Streets for the past 10 years and owner Tom Azzarella has noticed a lot of changes as the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus expands.

The campus sits just two blocks from his shop and Azzarella says parking now comes at a premium. His customers often struggle to find street parking on Allen or other streets near the medical campus.

"As those buildings open up, parking is going to get more and more difficult and you're going to have to open some more parking ramps," he said. "People are spoiled and want to drive their cars everywhere."

The Oishei Children's Hospital will open on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus November 10. That means 1500 employees and the hospital's patients and families will soon starting parking on or near the medical campus instead of near the current hospital on Bryant Street.

Those employees are both part-time and full-time and work various shifts, Michael Hughes, a Kaleida Health spokesperson, explained. A new parking ramp next to the hospital will help alleviate some of the parking troubles.

"We certainly realize parking is an issue on the campus," Hughes said. "As more and more buildings come online there's a concern there's not going to be enough parking. But at this point, with the addition of the new ramp, there is not a parking shortage."

The ramp, when it is finished next spring, will have 1800 parking spaces. That is more than double what the previous parking ramp had at the same location. But, when the Children's Hospital opens in November, only 400 of the spots will be available.