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Critics blast parking plans for Hertel Avenue

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Mike Desmond/WBFO
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The latest plans to ease parking problems along booming Hertel Avenue aren't going over well.

While the plan looks to open more spaces for patrons of Hertel Avenue storefronts, the proposal faced loud opposition Tuesday during a meeting of the neighborhood business association.

"We're trying to be good neighbors and not take spots away from residents and by creating turnover," said Business Association President Jeff Rinaldo.

"That's kind of what the plan is, that you don't have someone who takes up a parking spot for 6,7, 8 hours."

The proposal would charge for parking until 9 p.m. Currently, parking is free after five. The changes would cover street meters and two city-owned lots.

 "I would imagine that that (city-owned) lot will probably bring in double or triple that revenue," said Parking Commissioner Kevin Helfer,  The plan calls for half of that additional revenue would be put back into the community. Helfer believes that could be as much an additional $100,00o.

Many see business along Hertel continuing to grow, following in the success of Elmwood Avenue. Some see that growth as a model for the North Buffalo neighborhood.

"It's different on Elmwood Avenue." pointed out Councilmember Joel Feroleto, who says he receives many complaints about parking around Hertel.

"The city was able to change the parking rules for alternate parking on Elmwood because on a lot of the one-way streets there, the streets were wide enough to have parking on both sides and to have emergency vehicles go down the streets."