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City of Tonawanda approves overnight parking resolution

On April 1, residents of the City of Tonawanda will once again be able to leave their vehicles parked overnight on city streets following action this week by the City Council and a successful trial period this summer.

The Council by a slim majority approved a resolution permanently allowing overnight parking from April 1 until Sept. 30. Parking is prohibited between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. from Oct. 1 through March 31 to allow for snowplowing.

“We were one of the only municipalities in Erie County that didn’t have overnight parking during the summer,” said 4th Ward Alderwoman Jenna N. Koch. “I certainly think this is something positive we can offer to residents.”

Koch and 1st Ward Councilman Charles M. Gilbert supported the resolution sponsored by 2nd Ward Alderwoman Jackie A. Smilinich.

The Council in July approved the trial period that expired Oct. 31.

The new resolution prohibits overnight parking beginning Oct. 1 to make it easier for city crews to pick up leaves.

The city was one of the only area municipalities with year-round parking restrictions – an ordinance that dated from the 1940s when many families had one car or no car at all.

“You don’t have to worry about moving your car by 4 a.m. anymore,” Koch said. “You don’t have to set a reminder for yourself.”

Vehicles including trailers, semi-trailers, recreational vehicles, campers, boats, commercial business vehicles and livery vehicles are still prohibited from overnight parking on city streets, according to the resolution.

The overnight parking issue has been visited and revisited for decades by city officials.

But relaxing restrictions did not have majority support on the five-member Council until Smilinich, Koch and Gilbert joined the body this year. Mayor Rick Davis also supports overnight parking.