Parking signs cause confusion on Niagara Street

Complaints prompt city to take action

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – An “improper” parking sign in downtown Buffalo has caused a bit of confusion.

“It’s not right,” said Khristina Sly, who parks regularly along a stretch of Niagara Street not far from Buffalo City Hall.

She contacted News 4 after receiving four parking tickets since January.

“I’ve only successfully appealed two. I have yet to hear anything from my last two tickets. One from July and one from September,” she said.

Sly, who works in the area, claims the problem is the signage, which she says is confusing.

One signs reads, “No Standing Any Time,” while others indicate motorists can “Pay for Parking” at $2 a day.

Sly isn’t the only one complaining about being ticketed for parking in the area.

Karen Pitts also has an issue with the parking situation after receiving three tickets this year in the same location.

“Two of them I have fought and one of them I just went ahead and paid,” said Pitts. “It’s very confusing because in this little block you have at least six signs that point all different directions.”

She added, ”We are ticketed for parking in between signs that are not supposed to be there.”

Both women say they were ticketed even after paying and leaving the receipt on the dash where it was visible to parking enforcement.

Khristina Sly wrote the city three times. One of her letters from July states, “I submitted photos of the conflicting signs to the appeal board on April 12.”

“Went through the whole appeal process and was told that the signs were incorrect and that they would do a review of the posted signs,” Sly said.

News 4 contacted city officials Thursday. Within hours the signage was corrected.

Public Works Commissioner Steve Stepniak says the signs were installed by a contractor working on the Niagara Street Streetscape project, and that the mistake wasn’t caught.

According to Kevin Helfer, the city’s parking enforcement commissioner, “Whenever we do a “sign check” at the request of a constituent, we notify public works.”

“I am sure it was an oversight,” he said.

“If others feel they are wrongly ticketed they should plead not guilty,” Helfer added. “Obviously we would find them not guilty since public works acknowledged they removed the improper sign.”

As for Khristina Sly, Helfer says a records check shows that she owes the city nothing in parking fines.

Sly told News 4 by telephone that she’s thrilled that the parking problem has been resolved. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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