New children’s hospital spurs parking concerns for Fruit Belt

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — People who live in the Fruit Belt know the burden of finding a parking spot.

In June of 2016 New York State approved a program allowing resident parking permits. Now with the opening of the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, neighbors say parking could get worse.

“There are issues that I foresee will escalate,” said Benjamin Cashaw, Founder of the Fruit Belt Coalition Inc.

“Within the last 15-20 years it’s been majorly impacting the fruit belt are. You’re talking thousands and thousands more people coming down to the area. There’s no room for seniors to pull up in front of their homes,” said Anthony Chestnut, Fruit Belt resident.

Some neighbors are even worried about the opening of the new UB medical school.

“There’s no way they’re going to be able to accommodate probably the number of students that still wish to drive,” said Cashaw.

Residents say the peak time for parking issues are during work hours.

Common Council President Darius Pridgen says a parking garage is expected to open 800 new spaces.

“They just can’t afford to park in those parking garages,” said Cashaw.

“We know that, we know that there are going to be some people who aren’t going to be able to afford in the parking ramps and may park in the Fruit Belt area,” said Pridgen.

Pridgen says as concerns grow the city is looking for more parking solutions.

“It is a part of the growing pains that we have in a growing city, but we also can’t ignore them. We are concerned if they’re concerned,” said Pridgen.

Pridgen says the residential permits will alleviate some concerns, but some neighbors say the city parking garages need to be subsidized and more accessible for everyone.

 

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