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Changes to Downtown Rochester Parking Ordinances Seeing Mixed Reviews

October 12, 2018 06:16 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Parking is an ongoing issue in downtown Rochester.  Now, a new update to the city’s parking ordinance might have people moving their vehicles more often.

“The parking is, it causes anxiety around here,” said Jessica Wilcox, who works in downtown Rochester.

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“The way the parking trend has been going down here, it seems like they’re trying to eliminate all parking from downtown,” added Christopher Seeman.

Nearly a month ago, Rochester City Council updated the parking ordinance. 

“What that did was clarify a couple things about overtime parking,” said Nick Lemmer with the City of Rochester Parking and Transit.

Overtime parking is when you stay in a parking space past the posted time limit.

“Folks believe, mistakenly, that they can pay for the maximum time allowed for that meter and then when that time expires, purchase additional time,” Lemmer explained, which means plugging the meter is a thing of the past. 

Now when time’s up,  you’ll have to move your car past the next intersection.


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It’s something Lemmer said is already enforced in larger cities and has always been the rule in Rochester, “It’s always been a violation of city ordinance to remain in a limited time zone beyond the posted maximum time."

“I lived in Seattle in the past and you’re only allowed to stay in the meter as long as the meter is and then you have to move two parking spots away,” said Wilcox.

Lemmer said the reason behind it has to do with downtown businesses, “Limited time zones are established to allow turnover and that turnover is important for our business community because they rely on traffic to their businesses.  He also acknowledges that not everyone will be happy about the stricter enforcement.

“It makes it virtually impossible because there are no sites available beyond, you know, 5:30 in the morning, it’s virtually impossible to park down here,” said Seeman.

Aaron Norman, who also works downtown, expressed similar concerns. “People are still going to another place to park with another meter if that’s their option so how is that really going to solve anything it’s just going to be people having to be really inconvenienced by moving from meter to meter to meter throughout the day."

Lemmer said through the month of October warnings will be given out in first in order to help people transition.

Click here to contact Rochester Public Transit.

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