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NEW METERS TO CHANGE PARKING IN SOUTH END

With the posts for its South End parking meters in place and meters soon to be installed, the City Council today will consider setting downtown parking meter rates that range in most cases from $1 to $2 an hour, depending on location.

In a resolution sponsored by Councilman Vincent Anello, the Council is being asked to have all meters "operate on a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week basis," and most parking meters, with some exceptions, will charge $1 per hour for up to a two-hour maximum time limit. Motorists who want to park for less than an hour, will pay 25 cents for 15 minutes.

Meters are being placed along Niagara Street up to Seventh Street; along Rainbow Boulevard, on Third Street as far as Main Street; Wendel Way; Duggan Drive; and along the South End section of Buffalo Avenue.

Also, automated pay stations will be set up in the city parking lot on First Street between Buffalo Avenue and Rainbow Boulevard.

There are three areas where parking rates are to exceed the $1-per-hour charge under the resolution.

Meters on Third Street south of Wendel Way to Rainbow Boulevard and on Duggan Drive will charge $1.50 per hour up to maximum two-hour time limit. A minimum 30-minute charge will be 75 cents.

Meters on Main street between Rainbow Boulevard South and Buffalo Avenue and on Buffalo Avenue between Main and First streets will charge $2 per hour for a maximum of two-hour limit. The minimum charge for 15 minutes will be 50 cents. Those rates will be in effect during the period from May 15 through Sept. 15. The $1 hourly rate will kick in during the remaining eight months of each year.

The other exception will be in the First Street parking lot, which will be serviced by Lexus Machines at a $1.50 charge per half hour and at a $6 daily maximum rate. To use the lot, Spring said, a motorist must pay for the time he expects to use a parking space and then put the receipt he receives in his windshield to avoid being ticketed.

City Purchasing Director Dean W. Spring said that 440 parking meters are being installed along South End streets and that the First Street parking lot will provide 110 parking spaces.

The Council agreed to install the parking meters earlier this year after free downtown parking became monopolized by patrons of the new Seneca Niagara Casino.

The meters will allow noncasino-goers who have other business in the South End to park in a convenient place so they may patronize local shops, restaurants and banks and visit their doctor, lawyer or seek other professional services, Police Superintendent Christopher J. Carlin said.

Spring said he expects the new parking program to be under way in about three weeks.

e-mail: pwestmoore@buffnews.com

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