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As Town of Tonawanda lifts parking ban, Amherst holds the line

The towns of Amherst and Tonawanda don't see eye to eye – or curb to curb – when it comes to the overnight parking bans that most of Erie County's suburbs impose during the winter.

Tonawanda is often the first community to lift the parking ban in March or even February when the forecast is favorable. And the town sometimes delays the start of the parking ban in the fall of snow isn't on the immediate horizon.

Amherst, however, tends not to budge on its Nov. 1 to April 1 overnight parking ban – at least under Supervisor Brian Kulpa.

The Town of Tonawanda, Kenmore, Cheektowaga and the Village of Lancaster this week all lifted their bans. This past fall, the Town of Tonawanda waited until December to put it in place.

And one year ago, Tonawanda acted even earlier – in February – in lifting the ban.

Amherst, under Kulpa's predecessor, Barry Weinstein, relaxed the ban early on occasion. But Kulpa has held fast.

"I'm a little bit of a curmudgeon for doing that," Kulpa said.

Kulpa said Tonawanda Supervisor Joseph Emminger called him a year ago to say Tonawanda was lifting its ban early and to ask if Amherst would do the same. Kulpa said no and predicted flurries would follow.

The region did get some snow a few days after Tonawanda acted, and residents did have to move their vehicles to make way for plows. Kulpa said he reached out to Emminger to say, "I told you so, Joe," but Emminger doesn't recall that conversation.

"I would make the decision that I made last year again," Emminger said, saying residents and the town's plow crews easily handled the 2 inches or so of snow.

"People use common sense," he said.

Village of Lancaster latest to lift winter overnight parking ban

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