BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – “Signs” outside private parking lots in downtown Buffalo show the impact News 4 Call 4 Action is having among the operators.
City officials are allowing these private operators to replace human lot attendants with machines. But that has led to cars being towed and booted, and drivers are upset.
Bonnie Snyder went to Small Claims Court to get her money back after her car was booted at the parking lot on Washington Street. It’s a Pay2Park lot, which has a corporate name of Skydeck Corporation, where the human attendant has been replaced by a machine.
“Ten to 15 minutes, and we came out, and the locks were on the car already,” she said.
Even though Snyder paid for her parking, she was supposed to put the receipt in the window of her car. When she didn’t, she got the boot.
But after conferring outside of court with Pay2Park’s manager, Snyder is getting her $165 back. Yet she questions the effect wheel locks and towing might have on downtown business.
“Coming into our great town of Buffalo, and if they park somewhere, and they go to dinner and they come out, and they have locks on their wheels, they are not going to come back here again,” Snyder said.
That Pay2Park lot is the same lot where Yvette Gaines-Hicks also got her car booted last summer, leaving her stranded with three small children in tow.
Richard, who asked us not to use his real name, got booted at a Pay2Park on Perry Street believing it was free for customers of the Buffalo Creek Casino across the street.
In court, Richard told the hearing officer he didn’t see any signs indicating how much he had to pay.
Now there are signs telling folks like Richard $3 can prevent paying the $100 it takes to get a boot removed.
But in Yvette and Richard’s cases, and a third case where they won judgments, Skydeck’s lawyers have asked for news trials, known as a ‘trial de novo.’
The request for a new trial is surprising because the cost of a ‘trial de novo’ in these cases will likely be a lot more than just paying the judgments.
Pay2Park’s general manager had no comment about these new developments.