BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Drivers beware: double check the rules before you park downtown or you could wind up with a boot on your vehicle.
Certain lots will not think twice about putting a boot on your car and charging you a hundred dollars to get it off. The complaints we received about cars getting booted on private parking lots just seem to be aimed at lots operated by "Pay2Park."
Yvette Hicks and her three small children came downtown for a kids' concert but were practically stranded when they returned to find her car booted. In a rush, Hicks tried to pay cash at the attendant's station, but couldn't get the machine to take her money.
"My money wouldn't work, and I didn't have a charge card, so I took a chance. I haven't had [a ticket] for years. Twenty dollars to $30, I thought," she said.
Which may have been the cost of a ticket had Hicks been parked on the street. But she was parked in a Pay2Park lot.
"When I came out here and saw the boot on my car, I was shocked," she said.
Just across town at a Pay2Park lot across from the Buffalo Creek Casino, we spotted a truck immobilized by boots. A driver we will only identify as "Richard" Called 4 Action after he got his car booted on this same lot. Getting the boot removed was expensive.
"I had to pay $100 after being in the casino for no more than 45 minutes. I waited for about 15 minutes, they came out, released the boot. They got my $100, walked away. I'm out of $100 for not realizing I could not park in this parking lot," Richard said.
Ironically, if Richard had only known, it would have only cost him $3 to park in this lot for the whole day. Luckily for Richard, he got his car back when he did.
Richard said, "It would be $150 if I did not have the boot removed that day, and then a storage fee wherever they would take the car after that."
Buffalo's parking commissioner Kevin Helfer says the city has very little regulatory authority over private parking lots, and the lots can legally boot vehicles if they choose to do so.
Tower cranes stand tall in downtown Buffalo. They are sky-high symbols of change and development finally coming to the waterfront.
Police, FBI agents and a bomb squad all showed up on a quiet residential street in North Buffalo overnight.
Experts are being brought into Niagara Falls to deal with a rat problem that Mayor Paul Dyster calls "extraordinary," and neighbors say they have had enough.
Global civil rights icon Nelson Mandela, whose legacy is ending South African apartheid, has died.
Eighty-two-year-old Edward Spencer was making a left hand turn while exiting the Budwey's parking lot when he struck 52-year-old Sandra Garner and 55-year-old Kevin Nowak, according to authorities.
The AARP wants to make sure New Yorkers have the care they need as they age.