Raising fees OK, but first fix no parking rules
Most homes in the City of Lockport are not the newest of properties. Lots are long, skinny properties with little room to expand. Homes have shared driveways, leaving no room for cars to park without blocking in their neighbors.
My house has this very problem. I have a shared driveway, my lot is long and skinny and there is no room to expand a parking area. My parking area can accommodate one car. So whenever I have a person or people over they have to leave by 2 a.m. because if they donít they will get a ticket. If I have family or friends from out of town come to visit and they have a car with them Ö where are they supposed to park?
When I purchased my home I was not aware of this parking ordinance. Though that is not the cityís fault that I was not informed of this law or that I didnít know to look for such an ordinance, it is something to take into consideration, because if I had known I would not have purchased a house in the city.
A city should want to encourage new, young homeowners to set up roots. In order to do so it should be taken into consideration that many young people, especially on the weekends, do not go to bed by 2 a.m.
Even if this parking rule were relaxed for just the summer months, like most municipalities around the area, it would be a huge step in the right direction. Or simply extending the no parking hour from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. would give people a little more time to go out and do something. Another positive option would be allowing parking at night on one side of the street, leaving plenty of room for snow plows and emergency vehicles to navigate roads.
A current option for residents is to purchase a special use permit, allowing on street parking for a fee. This is a good alternative for some residents, but this fee is not something that everyone can afford. It also does not help if someone is having guests stay over and they need somewhere to park.
Or say a house had a party and several people had too much to drink. Where in other cities that person or persons could just stay at the home they got drunk at, waiting until the morning to leave. In Lockport they have to leave at 2 a.m., potentially driving drunk to avoid a parking ticket.
Also, something as simple and going to the drive-in cannot be done if several friends want to car pool together. Most drive-in double features donít end until 2:30 a.m., plus the time it takes to get back to the house.
Most cities and towns in the area do allow on street parking, at least part of the year. The Village of Medina allows it from the end of March to the beginning of November.
In Buffalo and Niagara Falls, you can park on the streets even if it is winter. Because of the houses being so close together and little parking room ó just like Lockport ó people are allowed to park on one side of the street. In the Town of Niagara, though there are restrictions, their no parking is from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m.
While updating fees attached to parking violations is an understandable move for the city to make, I think the fact of how homes and properties in the city are designed, leaving very little room for parking, should definitely be given serious discussion before making residents and visitors pay even more money.