BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Parking meters at the curb have been around for years. But now they are replacing parking attendants at most of the privately owned surface lots downtown with similar "robo attendants" that take cash and credit cards, but don't give back change.
Downtown developer Carl Paladino, who owns and operates several downtown lots, is keeping his attendants.
"And no responsibility on those greedy people who did not want to pay attendants. No responsibility on their part to secure the cars, and the people," Paladino decried.
He says the Common Council changed the law a few years ago allowing parking operators to replace attendants and they need to change it back.
"Because it recognized that if you're going to collect a fee from people to park on your property, you have a further responsibility to protect that property of these people, and to protect the people themselves," Paladino argued.
City-owned parking lots are operated by a private firm called Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps, or B-CAR, and all of them have attendants, including the lot at Franklin and Court Streets.
B-CAR officials say they have no immediate plans for replacing attendants with pay stations, although a meter has been installed at the Franklin Street lot. B-CAR officials also plan to install pay stations at the Fernbach parking ramp, which the company operates for the city, so users can pay with plastic.
The attendants won't be affected.
Paladino said, "We should have manned facilities at all times that you are collecting a fee, to park on your property."
News 4 has done several stories about un-manned parking lots in the past, where people who parked, unaware of the parking meter, had their cars booted and had to pay a high fee to have the boot removed. Otherwise, their vehicles were towed.
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