Over the past few weeks, the city’s proposal for parking changes downtown elicited a great deal of public response. The success of an online petition, along with input from groups such as GObike Buffalo, demonstrate how many stakeholders there are in the issue of how we get downtown, and how much we pay to get there and/or park there.
One aspect of the city’s original proposal was an anticipated increase in parking revenue. However, if the city wishes to raise revenue from automobile drivers without discouraging people from coming downtown, there is an alternative. Assign (or hire) a few police officers whose primary duty will be to catch people who run red lights and stop signs, and increase the fines for those infractions.
I live near downtown. If a patrol car, preferably unmarked, were to wait at Clinton and Jefferson, William and Jefferson, Hickory and Clinton, or Seneca and Louisiana, I guarantee that especially on evenings and weekends someone could be caught every 10 to 15 minutes running the light.
Increased enforcement would not only provide a steady revenue stream from the fines collected, it would make our streets safer. As a bicyclist and pedestrian, I have had too many close calls with cars running red lights.
A few billboards could reinforce the message: Come Enjoy Downtown: And Remember to Stop at Red Lights and Stop Signs.
Fr. William “Jud” Weiksnar