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Summer concerts prompt Friday service curtailments in Lockport

LOCKPORT – As the two organizations whose parking situations are most affected by summer concerts announced service curtailments for those Fridays, the women studying downtown Lockport parking said Tuesday they will complete their work next month.

The Lockport Public Library and the Lockport Family YMCA will lose their parking to the Labatt Canal Concert Series, which starts June 28.

On Fridays, the city-owned Chestnut Street parking lot will become the concert venue. The YMCA will close at 3 p.m., Executive Director Mark W. Albiez said.

Library Director Beverly J. Federspiel said that the library will close its entrance off the parking lot at 3 p.m. on Fridays during the concert season but that access through the East Avenue entrance will be maintained until 4.

However, the book drop will be locked at 4 and will remain locked until 8:30 Saturday morning. Federspiel said that during the concert season, which runs until Aug. 16, materials will not be due on Fridays.

Albiez said his organization will have no parking in the city lot right behind his building on Fridays because the concert stage is being set up on that lot.

YMCA Youth Director Laurie Ferris said, “We’re trying to make the best of it. It’s only a few weeks, but it’s going to be tough on our members and on our customers.”

Meanwhile, two graduate students in urban and regional planning, Amanda Fowler and Leyla Akhundzada, said they have catalogued the available spaces as the first phase of their study of the downtown area’s permanent parking woes. It was begun at the request of Common Council President Anne E. McCaffrey, who said the results of traffic observations and a questionnaire for business owners will result in recommendations by a committee in August.

The students said they have checked out traffic and parking volume at 2 p.m. on a Monday and noon on a Saturday. They said that at both times, barely more than half of the parking spaces in downtown were occupied.

Albiez said they missed the real congestion time, which he said is between 9 a.m. and noon on any weekday.

The students they will carry out more “windshield tests” in those hours.