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City counts on more traffic patrols to keep Canalside traffic flowing

Heading into the holiday weekend, city officials are counting on new parking signs and more traffic patrols to avoid a repeat of last weekend’s traffic tie-ups at Canalside.

More people riding Metro Rail or parking away from the waterfront would also reduce congestion, city officials said.

Last Saturday evening, the World’s Largest Rubber Duck at Canalside, a baseball game at Coca-Cola Field and the Kanye West concert at First Niagara Center brought traffic to a halt.

The traffic plan announced by Mayor Byron W. Brown comes as large crowds are expected to attend special events planned along the downtown waterfront this holiday weekend.

“This is the new normal in our popular downtown waterfront area,” the mayor said. “We will continue to work with our waterfront stakeholders to address traffic and parking concerns.”

Digital message displays will be placed in strategic locations in the waterfront area, including at Erie Drive and Marine Drive to inform motorists when the lot at Erie Basin Marina is full.

Motorists are being encouraged to park at locations on the east side of Main Street by exiting the 190 on Elm Street and going to Seneca Street. Digital display boards at Seneca Street and Michigan Avenue, and Michigan and Perry Street, will direct them to alternative parking lots.

More Buffalo Police Traffic Unit patrols will be deployed throughout the holiday weekend, as well.

City residents and visitors also are encouraged to take public transportation to the downtown waterfront, including Metro Rail, which runs along Main Street.

The NFTA has two Park-and-Ride locations along the Metro Rail line – the LaSalle Station parking lot, with 732 free spaces, and the University Station at the University at Buffalo’s South Campus, with 312 spots. Drivers can park in the lots and ride Metro Rail to the Central Wharf stop.

In addition, motorists can park downtown in city-owned parking ramps. For more information about locations and rates, visit the Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps website at bcarparking.com.

Street parking is free downtown on weekends, and riders can take the Metro Rail south of the Fountain Plaza Station for free.

Motorists also can park on Fuhrmann Boulevard and ride the bike ferry across the Buffalo River to Canalside. Parking is free on Fuhrmann, and the bike ferry costs $1.

email: msommer@buffnews.com

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