Submission by Edward Pinkel AKA Ward - Owner Urban Threads:
With the announcement of the 770 parking lot being developed
into a 3-storey mixed use building, which is great news for Elmwood in my opinion, the car culture is asking, "Where are we going to park now?" Well, there is a simple solution in the works, but The City has been dragging its feet on the proposal for almost 5 years now.
The plan would be to reduce the time of alternating parking on the one-way side streets (such as Ashland Avenue) and the streets that lead to and from Elmwood (such as Breckenridge and Auburn). Instead of limiting parking to one side of the street for seven hours (currently 9am-4pm) during prime shopping time, the plan is to change the alternate parking routine to a two hour time period (9am-11am). This would open up hundreds of spots on both sides of the street - from 11am on - for residents and shoppers alike. It would also give The City plenty of time to take care of these streets, albeit in a specific window of time.
The updated parking pattern could be accomplished inexpensively with a mere sticker placed over the '4pm' on the parking signs - the sticker would read '11am'.
"So what's the problem?" you may ask. Well, it's the City's Streets Department. They do not want to be forced into a time slot to plow the streets or to send a street cleaner down them. That's very unfortunate, especially because this affects so many small businesses that rely on the side streets for parking. In this day and age, with the new Streets Department GPS truck tracking system, this is a no brainer. On top of the narrowed time window, I have also heard a claim that the department thinks that the streets are not wide enough to have parking on both sides. If this is true then the claim is ridiculous because there is already parking on both sides of the street after 4pm everyday and all weekends as it stands now.
Following is a quote from former Director of Parking for the City of Buffalo, Len Sciolino: "By limiting parking to 9 AM - 11 PM on various streets in the Elmwood District would encourage more visitors, shoppers and would allow more parking for residents and employees. This is a necessary evil that should be implemented immediately in the Elmwood District before residents, shoppers, employees and visitors decide to go elsewhere."
We the public and the Elmwood Village needs to put more pressure on The City to get this done. The infill on Elmwood is great. Now we need to work as a team to be creative when it comes to figuring out needed parking solutions.