Residents in the Fruit Belt are gearing up for a press conference and rally, in order to push for a plan for residential parking permits. Residents in the neighborhood say that there is no place to park, and are plying Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) to come up with a plan for Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) parking, in order to alleviate the parking woes for residents of the Fruit Belt and McCarley Gardens who don’t have driveways or parking pads. Attempts at initiating a parking program have been fruitless thus far, and the Fruit Belt/McCarley Gardens Housing Task Force, led by community activists Veronica Nichols (photo), Sharon R. Everett, and Sydney Brown, is determined to come up with a solution.
Residents recently held a “Park-In” protest, and are committed to identifying a parking plan for residents.
“Parking problems in the Fruit Belt will only grow worse with the construction of the UB Medical School and the new Women and Children’s Hospital. A residential parking permit is therefore needed immediately. Although a parking permit bill has passed in the Assembly, the bill stalled in the Senate when non-resident members of the CSEA union used their political clout to stall the bill.” – Fruit Belt/McCarley Gardens Housing Task Force
The task force states that approximately 600 cars are now parking in the Fruit Belt alone, and the problem us expected to get worse when additional BNMC buildings open for business. Residents claim that the issue primarily stems from Medical Campus employees who refuse to pay to park in designated parking lots, choosing to park for free in front of their houses, often times blocking driveways. Home owners are calling for the BNMC to offer affordable parking to employees in order to encourage drivers to stay off the residential streets.
The press conference and rally is also designed to call out for a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA). Activists are saying that the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) was not followed. As more and more public bucks are being earmarked for the Medical Campus, the surrounding community is not seeing residual benefits that would help to improve the quality of life of residents.