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Anyone have an opinion about parking downtown?

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Michael Mroziak
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WBFO News

Buffalo Place is surveying anyone impacted by downtown transportation and parking issues, in an effort to improve city accessibility.

Back in 2000, the organization conducted a similar Downtown Access Study to help with on-street parking. At that time, Buffalo Place Project Planner Angela Keppel said they found vacant and underutilized parking spaces on the street. She said it is an example of past feedback making a difference today.

"New curb spaces were able to be added," Keppel said. "One thing that was added at that time was the eight-hour curb parking spaces, in areas where there was not a need for turnover, to let people pay at the meter and let people park there all day."

However, Keppel said the downtown landscape has changed since then. She said one of the major changes for downtown over the past decade is the conversion of residential downtown living. Areas like office spaces are being re-purposed.

"That has helped increase the occupancy rate and reduce vacancies," Keppel said. "Vacant buildings are now residential, which helps a lot of people who live downtown may also work downtown, so then they may, instead of being a two-car family, they may now be a one-car family. We've seen a lot of that trend happening."

Keppel said they also encourage people to use alternative modes of transportation like carpooling, the bus and the Metro Rail. Some of this year's survey questions ask about transportation benefits offered by employers.

"We really love getting feedback, really hearing what people have to say, because sometimes we hear things through the grapevine and that's not the way everyone thinks, so we want everybody to have a chance to give us their opinion."

You can complete the survey online at buffaloplace.com.

Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.
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