Councilman Kennedy Leads Push to Increase Parking Meter Rates Again in Downtown Niagara Falls

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By: Nicholas D. D’Angelo

Managing Editor

Thinking about spending time in Downtown Niagara Falls this summer? Get ready to feel the parking fees in your bank account.

The Niagara Falls City Council voted, by a 3-2 margin, to raise parking meter prices throughout Downtown Niagara Falls from the months of May through October.

Here are the specifics:

  • Parking rates increase to $5 per hour (**for a maximum four hours**) at public curbside spaces between May and October.
    • The cost lowers to $3 per hour the remaining months of the year.
  •  The cost to park in a city-owned lot increases $5 to a total of $30 per day between May and October.
    • The cost lowers to $10 in the remaining months of the year.


“We can’t just hope a golden nugget is going to get dropped on our lap,” said Councilman Bill Kennedy. “This isn’t going to be a multi-million dollar piece but at least it’s something to get us started.”

Councilman Chris Voccio, who voted no to the measure, said that he was given less than a full day to talk to residents and consider this proposal.

His main concern, however, was deterring future visits to the falls by tourists.

“I don’t think it’ll have an immediate impact,” said Councilman Voccio. “My fear is it will have a long-term impact. The family that comes from Omaha, Nebraska or from wherever is shock at the prices we charge for parking and they figure the next time they plan on taking a family vacation, they go somewhere else.”

Councilman Kennedy disagreed, saying that he does not see it as price-gauging or discouraging people from going downtown.

“I’ve been to tons of places throughout the country, points of interest, wonders of the world, huge national parks,” said Councilman Kennedy. “To see a wonder of the world, I don’t think people are really be too concerned with paying a couple extra dollars an hour.”

Additionally, Councilman Kennedy said that the city was about to get tough on enforcement in an effort to discourage “parking roulette.”

As for residents, Kennedy said there remains a parking permit available for them.

“There is a city resident parking permit that you can get for $25, which equates to a little over two dollars a month to park down there if you choose to.”

Councilman Ken Tompkins, who also opposed the increase, said that it should not have been a walk-on item.

“I believe that two increases in one budget year is not well thought out,” said Councilman Tompkins. “The businesses and tourism leaders were never consulted. Although I believe we will see some additional money, it might put a bad taste in peoples mouths and cost us in the future.”

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