BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Canalside and other big plans are designed to bring new crowdsof people downtown, but where will they put their cars? BuffaloPlace needs an affordable place to park new businesses andcustomers.
A big show at Shea's certainly brings out the crowds on anygiven night. You can tell just by the parking lots. The ones acrossthe street fill up quickly, but it's usually not tough to find aspot nearby.
And as long as you're willing to pay for it, parking is usuallynot tough to come by in downtown Buffalo at night. During the day,it's more of a challenge. Donald Shoup is an urban planning expertwho has written about what he calls, "the high cost of freeparking." Local officials, developers and concerned Buffaloianscame out to here his message.
Kevin Helfer, who is Executive Director of the Buffalo CivicAuto Ramps, said, "We have a very high occupancy rate in downtownBuffalo.
Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps manages city ramps and lots. He saysthe daily parker is paying roughly $1,000 a year.
"I think Buffalo does it pretty good. If you start raising theparking rates too high and you start losing tenants in downtownBuffalo, it will have a very negative economic development impact,"said Helfer.
Donald Shoup talked about metered parking and how manycommunities raised the rates on those meters and in turn put thatmoney right back into community improvements like lighting,sidewalks and other streetscape projects. Buffalo Parking Boardmember Chris Austin says it's not as simple as that.
"Because different districts command more entertainment dollars,more people coming for restaurants, there would have to be adelicate balance of how that money is appropriated or divided,"said Austin.
Downtown business owner Jim Sandoro says it's something thatshould be looked into.
"We have people visiting from out of town, Canadian visitors,they can be contributing to our infrastructure and that's reallyimportant and so simple," said Sandaro.
Donald Shoup says the parking goal is to maintain 85 percentoccupancy, to have enough business, but also to make sure there isenough space available for those who want it.
The Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office says a tractor trailer crashed on Route 39, in the Town of Eagle.
A Good Samaritan died Wednesday while trying to assist the driver of a tractor trailer who got stuck in the snow.
There is another Lake Effect Snow Warning in effect for Erie, Wyoming, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties from Thursday through early Friday.
Lake Effect Snow Warnings today with the chance for an additional foot for some areas.
Viewers sent in photos from the snowfall around Western New York.
Four brothers were playing Thursday morning in Cattaraugus County, when an eight-year-old boy was struck by gunfire.