For Immediate Release
June 18, 2015
Open Buffalo Coalition of Residents, Community Groups, and Labor Allies, Call for Immediate Passage of Fruit Belt Parking Legislation (A.7574-A / S.5306-A)
BUFFALO – With the 2015 Legislative session in its closing hours, a coalition of Buffalo-based community groups, nonprofits and labor allies are profoundly disappointed that lawmakers in the State Legislature have thus far failed to pass into law a proposal that could alleviate widely reported quality-of-life pains endured by residents of the historic Fruit Belt neighborhood.
The Open Buffalo coalition strongly supports the passage of proposed state legislation that would permit the City of Buffalo to create a resident parking program for the Fruit Belt (A.7574-A / S.5306-A).
For years, parking has been a major challenge for residents of the Fruit Belt due to the overwhelming number of Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) employees parking on their streets, resulting in traffic hazards, congestion, and air and noise pollution.
“It’s a huge issue,” said Fruit Belt resident Dennice Barr of the parking crunch in her neighborhood. Barr points to the inability of senior citizens to find parking near their homes, which lack driveways or garages.
In a memorandum of support for A.7574-A / S.5306-A, which was submitted to legislative offices on June 12 (with 11 partner organizations signing on in support), Open Buffalo Executive Director Franchelle Hart stated:
“The shortage of available parking spaces on the medical campus should be addressed through employer incentive programs for alternative transportation, including employer-paid public transportation vouchers, and not by sacrificing residents’ ability to park safely in front of their homes.”
Organizations signing on to Open Buffalo’s memo of support (which is attached to this email) included: Partnership for the Public Good; Communications Workers of America – District One; New York State Nurses Association; Fruit Belt Advisory Council; Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers; Coalition for Economic Justice; Fruit Belt/McCarley Gardens Housing Task Force; Fruit Belt United Inc.; Mulberry Street and Friends Block Club; Fruit Belt Homeowner and Tenant Council; and People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH) Buffalo.
Said Hart Thursday, “We strongly reiterate our support for this legislation. The fact that our broad coalition includes not only residents and activists, but also labor unions that represent hard-working medical campus employees underscores the severity of the parking problem in the Fruit Belt. Open Buffalo and our partners urge the adoption of this legislation, and the creation of a fair parking program for the Fruit Belt.”
About Open Buffalo
Open Buffalo is a civic initiative to make major, long-term improvements in justice and equity; it is an unprecedented collaboration among a diverse group of partners; and it is one of three projects in the nation chosen for the Open Places Initiative of the Open Society Foundations.
For media inquiries, please Max Anderson, Director of Communications for Open Buffalo, at (716) 292-4995, or firstname.lastname@example.org.