Rochester City Council discusses progress, problems with permit parking

(ABC 6 News) – When you come home from a long day of work, the last thing you want to worry about is where you’ll have to park.

Parking problems have been an ongoing frustration in a number of districts in Rochester for years.

Two years ago, the city council adopted a permit parking program that cost residents $30 a year. The objective was to prevent people from parking in residential neighborhoods while they are at work.

Fast forward two years later, City Traffic and Parking Manager Sam Budzyna presented the results of a recent permit parking survey at the July 11 city council meeting.

After receiving information via email, phone calls and mail-in surveys, the general consensus was “predictable.” People with permits, were satisfied with the change, while those without the permit gave unfavorable feedback.

Two city council members openly sided with those frustrated by the parking permits.

“The spot in front of your house isn’t your spot. It’s public.” Councilman Shaun Palmer said. “I guess my whole way of looking at this is that the whole program should just go away. Let people park wherever they want. If they park in front of a mailbox, they get a ticket and we have a rule for that; in front of the driveway, we have a rule for that and let them take care of it.”

Currently, residential parking is only enforced from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

There are 14 zones where residents need a parking permit. The two that have received the most complaints are the Mayo Park and Kutzky zones.

Mayo Park zone resident Jope Walsch was frustrated about non residents parking in front of his house. He said the parking permits have been a positive change in the neighborhood.

“There’s been a distinct improvement in how quiet the neighborhood has been in the morning,” Walsch said. “We understand that this is close to downtown and that it’s free parking and it’s convenient. But it’s still our neighborhood.”

The Rochester city council did not vote to make any immediate changes to the permit parking program.

But they did agree to revisit the idea at a future meeting.