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Hourly parking standardizing to $1 in Buffalo

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Feeding the meters will cost more money in some Buffalo business districts this spring. The city is increasing 50 cent-an-hour parking to $1 an hour at about 1,100 meters on roads including Hertel Avenue, Elmwood Avenue and Main Street. Buffalo Parking Commissioner Kevin Helfer tells WBFO he is convinced the move will help, not hurt businesses. He says the increase will encourage parking turnover.

"At $4 a day, when people just keep coming out and feeding the meter, that's an awfully cheap price to pay. They would occupy that spot all day long and it would be anti-business," said Helfer.

More than half of all the city's parking meters already cost a dollar an hour. When the change is made, all 2,900 metered and pay-to-park spots in Buffalo will cost $1 per hour.

"We had two rates: one was a 50 cent-an-hour rate, one was a dollar-an-hour rate. Back in last year's budget, the Common Council approved taking all of them across the board and equalizing them at a rate of $1 an hour throughout the City of Buffalo," said Helfer.

Helfer estimates the change will raise between $200,000 and $300,000 a year for the city. Nearly two-thirds of all metered and pay-to-park spots on city streets already cost a $1 an hour.