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Buffalo Tickets Cars on Federal Holiday

Filed under: Local Politics

Members of block clubs and other motorists are fuming about today’s mass ticketing of cars around the city. The tickets are being issued for not observing alternate parking rules on a day when many people were officially off from work because New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday.

Reports from around town describe one parking enforcement officer explaining that there are no holidays for parking enforcement; while another disgruntled resident claims to have received no response today from the Division of Parking Enforcement. Folks on BuffaloRising are also sounding off about it.

Few things are as frustrating as having your day off marred by an unexpected parking ticket. There was no snow to plow this morning, and I noticed traffic was very light as I rode my bike to work. Lots of people were home, enjoying the last of the holiday season.

What do you think? Is this government simply enforcing the rule of law, or being an unnecessary pain in the neck?



  • Matthew Ricchiazzi

    Thank you for posting this and bringing attention to the excessive abuses of Byron Brown’s administration.

    Byron was expecting to make a lot of patronage hires as political paybacks to supporters with the cash flows that he was expecting with his failed “red light camera’ proposal. Since that got shut down by the Common Council, he has had to find a new way to fund new patronage hires, so he’s instructed the parking violations bureau to crazy.

    I’d like the media to examine the data and see where he is selectively over-enforcing minor parking violations (I would expect Elmwood and Allentown because he thinks they can afford it and they’re not voting for him anyways).

  • Gillian Brown

    Absolutely outrageous. I – and every other car on the “wrong” side of Ashland between Bryant and W. Utica – got a ticket this morning. It was a federal, state, and city holiday. There was no street cleaning (not that there ever is…) and there was no snow. Is it really possible that the Parking Violations Bureau takes the position that the City’s parking rules somehow trump a national holiday?
    I encourage everyone who got a ticket to invest the time and plead not guilty, and force the City to actually justify this insult.

  • David Shapiro

    Well, both of the above is true. Parking laws do not take a holiday, and yes, it sure is a kick in the hiney to have the PVB agressively tag on a holiday. Please do not forget, especially on those narrow west side avenues, that emergency vehicles still need access, that fires and health problems don’t take any vacations, and the parking regs are written to help facilitate the passage of these emergency vehicles. If there was a fire on your street with everyone parked wherever, who would then complain when the fire trucks get all jammed up?

    I moved my car this morning. I do it every day. I’m not going to whine. This is life in the city.

  • RaChaCha

    The Mayor, unable to contain his joy over yesterday’s inauguration of the new county executive, proclaimed today Ticketsoncarz Day!

    What, am I the only one who saw the press release??

  • guest

    the mayor just sucks

  • Joseph Coppola

    Wah-wah-wah!!! If your granny needs an ambulance, or your house is burning, you surely would want that street clear for an emergency vehicle. I’m no fan of the mayor, but the signs clearly state when & where you are to park your Subaru. Get over it!!!

  • Kirsten Miller

    Why are only the white neighborhoods getting mass ticketed????????

  • Max

    Hey, go easy on Byron. He’s got to make up the lost revenue that the parking meter pilferers took down…

  • txpyrt

    Yeah he has to make up for all the money being spent on outside attorneys for all the lawsuits from former employees, NRP, and all the HUD money he stole and gave to freinds

  • Kate

    As one who lives on a one-way street with alternate-side parking, I can see the need for ticketing, snow or no snow. It’s not so much that people need to switch sides, it’s that there’s really only room for parking on one side of the street, and if everyone’s not obeying it, it’s hard to make it through even in a compact car, let alone an ambulance or a fire truck as other posters have pointed out. I sympathize to an extent. It sucks to get a ticket, even when you know you’re completely at fault. But as David Shapiro said, the signs are clear, it’s not new to anyone who’s lived in the city for any period of time, and it’s just part of life.

    If anyone from city parking enforcement happens to be reading this, though, may I suggest hitting Jersey Street between Niagara and Porter? The revenue could fund several after-school programs and probably have enough left over to plate City Hall in gold.

  • Gillian Brown

    David Shapiro’s, and other’s, comments about emergency vehicle access and snow plowing might make sense for those streets with true alternate side parking that actually leaves a street with cars on only one side for a full day. However, for many West Side streets, it is simply a prohibition on parking on one or the other side from 9 AM until 4 PM. If it’s essential for emergency vehicles from 9 – 4, then it must be essential at 8 or 5. It simply makes no sense to enforce that rule on a national holiday, when many people were off of work, and when – if you check newspapers from past years – the City often suspends its parking rules on holidays. It has nothing to do with whining, and nothing to do with whether people drive a Subaru. It was just mean spirited and senseless.

  • Eisenbart

    Kate that’s funny, that’s where I live. It’s left side Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 9-5pm. Right side Thursday and Friday. Weekends either side. You can park on either side overnight but very few people do during winter even though they can because Jersey is not a bus route.

    I have seen more tickets on Jersey St than I have ever living on Allen St. Parking on Jersey St during the day can be tight because D’Youville students park their cars there then take one car to a parking lot that is closer. It is not uncommon to see.

    Since the students do park there, parking enforcement is there every day and the people who do live on the street know better.

  • Jim

    Tell me again why I should to move back to the city….

  • Tom Beecher

    Nowhere in the city code is it specified that certain holidays are exempt from parking enforcement. If you park illegally, any day of the year, you could receive a ticket if enforcement happens to be in that area at that time.

    Unless the city issued a notice that parking rules were suspended for that day, then people who were ticketed have nothing to complain about.

  • KevinP

    Jim – If parking where it says “No Parking” is upsetting or confusing to you then you probably shouldn’t move back to the city

  • Kirsten Miller


  • Kate

    Eisenbart, that explains a lot. Usually, I’m through there on the weekends. I had no idea people could park on both sides of Jersey over the weekend! I think they should change it, just for safety’s sake. It gets awfully narrow through there when both sides are completely jammed on the weekends. I go that way quite a bit, coming back from the store.

    My own street is always alternate, no days off. I think it runs 6 p.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. Monday on one side. On the narrow streets, it really is a safety thing and I’m grateful whenever I see enforcement.

    But in cases like the one Gillian was talking about, I don’t see what it would have hurt to give people a break on a national holiday. They do it left and right for Kleinhans concerts. They could usually nab people for a variety of parking violations: wrong side, too close to the street sign, etc., and maybe they do, but I’ve personally never seen it. I think it’s good that they don’t: a lot of the people committing them are probably living in environments where they never have to park on a street, and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth if you get a ticket the one time a year you’re in the city. So why not do it for people who actually live in the city year-round? Then again, “Mean spirited and senseless” describes a lot of the enforcement of things like this in the city. Remember all of those high-grass citations during the wettest May on record in 2011?

  • lillian

    I live west of Richmond. My block had cars parked on both sides of the street on Monday, all day long. No tickets written here.

  • Bruce Wagner

    Not only was this the first time I my memory that the City has ticketed on a holiday but the employees who issued the tickets were most likely paid time and a half for working on a holiday. City resident taxpayers were screwed twice. The public safety argument is an excuse. There is hardly any ticketing done in lower income areas (holiday or no holiday) yet the public safety issue exists there as well. This is about revenue.

  • David

    I have never once seen parking authority ticket on a holiday. I unfortunately was one of the few that was forced to work on January 2nd, but returned home at 1pm to find all cars parked on both sides of the street (Potomac Avenue). Having lived in the city for nine years now and knowing holidays are usually a day that goes unticketed, I decided to park in front of my house on the side of the street that would usually be ticketed.
    I came outside an hour and a half later to see all of Potomac with tickets on their cars. I could not believe it so I immediately tried to call the Buffalo Parking Authority Offices to speak to somebody. Wouldn’t you know it, there was nobody in the office to take calls. How can you, in good conscience, ticket us residents (not on commercial streets) when government workers themselves are not even working.
    It is absolutely obsurd and I hope more people take a stance against this.

    And by the way, all of you that are arguing that it is fine to ticket us on a federal holiday, obviously have their own driveways or don’t live in the effected neighborhoods.

    Enough is enough!