There is welcome news today for Buffalo residents who rely on on-street parking.
Mayor Byron Brown has lifted the city's winter parking restrictions, which are normally in effect until April 1. The move could become official as soon as tomorrow if the Common Council approves the suspension in special session, which is expected.
"We believe we do not need, for the remainder of the year, these overnight parking restrictions. We want to add to the convenience of parking for residents in the City of Buffalo," said Brown.
Seasonal restrictions took effect November 15 and usually extend until April First to facilitate snow removal. Council President Richard Fontana says residents can thank the mild winter for the reprieve.
"It's essentially springtime in Buffalo, so why not have the ordinance reflect that?," said Fontana.
Buffalo has received only 34.2 inches of snowfall this season, compared to the average 90 inches. Mild weather is forecast for the rest of the month.
The mayor says the mild winter has created a number of positive effects for the city. Brown says savings on plowing, salt, gasoline, and overtime total around $1.4 million. The unseasonably warm weather has also allowed city crews to get a jump on cleaning city streets and tackling illegal dumping in the city.
One casualty of this unusual winter is Rotary Rink in downtown Buffalo. Buffalo Place has announced the ice skating rink at Fountain Plaza is closed for the season, as of today, due to poor ice conditions.