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Rochester Parking & Traffic Issues
I wish we could do something about changing the city traffic ordinance requiring us to move our cars every twelve hours. No signs are posted are posted where I live. I stayed indoors for a few days due to subzero temps, now I owe the city $165. Yikes!
Rochester Parking & Traffic Issues
February 2, 2014
I plan to go to court tomorrow to plead not guilty for failure to adhere to 111.16 on the basis that no signs are posted informing me of parking restriction and that the venturing outdoors during subzero weather would be adverse to my health. I will take my two types of asthma inhalers to support my being treated for this condition. I will of course accept the judge’s decision and pay the prescribed fine.

Regardless of the judge’s ruling, however, I feel this ordinance is a hardship for those of residents without off-street parking privileges. I think I see the need for alternate side-of-the-street parking , but this same-side-of-the-street game of musical cars is difficult to play and, if everyone played it, would result in increased carbon emissions and personal agita. 

I did a bit of researched and discovered that both Buffalo and Syracuse have 24 hour parking limits:

SEC. 9.09. PARKING HOURS. Parking on streets shall be limited as follows:
Subd. 1. It is unlawful for any person to stop, park or leave standing any vehicle upon any street for a continuous period in excess of twenty-four (24) hours.

I must say their ordinance is also a problem because of this: 

Subd. 4. For the purpose of enforcement of this Section, any vehicle moved less than one block in a limited time parking zone shall be deemed to have remained stationary.

So in Buffalo you can keep you car on the street for 24 hours, but then you have to move it more than a block away. But I don’t live there anymore so I won’t worry about it.

yracuse seems to rely heavily on signage so people know upfront what they are getting into.

Sec. 15-318. All night parking prohibited. 
No vehicle shall be parked upon any street in the city of Syracuse in the central traffic district between the hours of 12:00 midnight of any day to 7:00 a.m. following. 
(a) Certain night parking permitted—Except as otherwise prohibited or restricted by other provisions of this traffic code now or hereafter adopted, the provision of this section shall not be deemed or construed: 
(1)To prevent parking of vehicles between the hours of 12:00 midnight of any day and 7:00 a.m. following on streets of the city outside the central traffic district on the even-numbered side of a street on nights of even-numbered calendar days; and on the odd-numbered side of a street on nights of odd-numbered calendar days and such limited parking is hereby permitted. For the purpose of this subsection a night shall be deemed even-numbered if that portion thereof prior to midnight was part of an even-numbered day and odd-numbered if that portion thereof prior to midnight was part of an odd-numbered day; or 
(2) To prevent parking of vehicles for twenty-four (24) hour periods outside the central traffic district on odd or even days of the month starting at 6:00 p.m. respectively when suitable signs are erected so indicating. Those streets and parts of streets as may be periodically designated by regulations of the commissioner and filed with the city clerk are hereby declared to be streets where parking for twenty-four (24) hour periods is permitted. When any street or part of a street is so designated, the commissioner of transportation shall erect proper signs indicating that such parking is allowed. 
(b) Parking of commercial vehicles in residential areas prohibited. No motor truck or commercial vehicle shall be parked or left standing unattended in or upon any street in a residential zone of the city as such zones are defined by the Zoning Rules and Regulations of the City of Syracuse approved and adopted by the common council January 30, 1922, as amended, for any purpose except the expeditious loading or unloading of freight or merchandise, except in case of emergency or when otherwise directed by a police officer, during or between the following hours: 
(1) 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Monday through Friday.
(2) 1:00 p.m. on Saturday to 8:00 a.m. Monday.
(3) 2:01 a.m. on each holiday until the following day at 8:00 a.m.


In my opinion, Syracuse has the most reasonable ordinance of the three. I think I could live with a 24 hour limit parking limit especially if it is posted. Syracuse is also looking into Residential Parking Permits, which in my opinion is something our city should also consider.

I must say this 12 hour thing has come to me with a jolt. I remember when I lived in Monterey, CA the parking limit was two weeks! I discussed the matter with my landlord, who grew up in Rochester and has been owned property for many years, and he told me he has never heard of this twelve hour rule. 

February 3, 2014
Today is the day I will contest my parking tickets. Should I walk (my preference) or should I drive? If I drive I will have to pay for parking, but if I walk, I still will have to move my car before I leave.

I decided to drive since I had to move my car anyway.
I have just returned from the City of Rochester Bureau of Parking Violations located at 42 South Avenue. If you have to go there someday, I recommend using the the Broad Street Parking Garage if you drive. Take the elevator down to the ground floor, walk down the escalator, and you're there.

I had to wait for more than an hour, but my examiner was very reasonable. He reduced the fine to $40.00, which a thought was fair. (After all, although I had no knowledge of Traffic Ordinance 111-16, ignorance of the law is no excuse.) If only that had been the end of it. My goal ultimate goal is to get the city to change the law so that we can park on the street for more than twelve hours at a time, perhaps twenty-four hours. I pointed out that Buffalo and Syracuse have 24 hour limits, at which time the clerk - not the examiner - interrupted me by shouting out, "This isn't Buffalo or Syracuse!" I tried to continue my conversation with the examiner, but when I asked him why our ordinance called for twelve hours of parking privileges and not twenty-four, the clerk burst into a tirade shouting out reasons like snow removal, cleaning the streets, etc. (Please note that her response did not answer my question.) I reacted by informing her I wanted to discuss the matter exclusively with the examiner and not with her. And that was the end of the hearing. I left feeling a bit rattled and disturbed that a clerk could take it upon herself to address my concerns at a formal hearing. She was both out of order and disrespectful. 

I was so glad to get out of there, and will do my best never to return. Please keep in mind my love for Rochester continues to by strong. We just have a few kinks to work out .

February 6, 2014
This matter is currently actively being handled through channels.

March 10, 2014
I received the following email from Mayor Warren's office today:

The Chief’s office consulted with the Law Department to clarify Municipal Code 111-16 which prohibits parking in a street for more than twelve hours. 

The official interpretation is that Section 111-16 means that a vehicle cannot be parked for more than 12 hours in the same space without being moved. If the owner moves the vehicle before the end of 12 hours, and parks it in another legal parking spot on the street, that would not be a violation. When the Code was amended in 1984 the transmittal indicated that it was intended " assist in the prompt removal of abandoned vehicles or the elimination of long-term parking." Ord. 84-271. This rule does not apply where alternate parking is in effect. 

I guess I could argue that 12 hours is too short a period of time because it unduly creates a burden for residents like me, but I am happy that  Mayor Warren cared enough to get back to me on this matter. At least I now understand that the issue is not exclusively about snow removal and street cleaning, and that thirty years ago our city's leaders talked it over and decided 12 hours was best for our city. Presumably their decision was not arbitrary and capricious Compared to the huge issues cities face, this is truly trivial matter and I will hold off on my campaign to have it amended. 

Thank you, Mayor Warren! You are working hard and doing a great job! 

MAYOR WARREN COMES THROUGH FOR THE LITTLE GUY! Although I enjoy living in Rochester, my city isn't perfect.  I will use this page to discuss some of the issues I personally face as a resident of the City of Rochester.

Let's start with my problems finding a place to park near my apartment. I do not have access to private parking, so I have to park my car on the street. The problem is Rochester has a traffic ordinance requiring all vehicles to be moved every 12 hours. Believe me, this is not an easy rule to adhere to and penalties are stiff. I am aware of our city having a reputation for not being a parking-friendly city. As an example, I invite you to read a letter I recently emailed to Mayor Warren in the hope that it will encourage her to support my request to extend the period of time we are allowed to park on our streets. Here it is:

January 31, 2014

Dear Mayor Warren,
With subzero temperatures over the last few days, I tried to stay indoors and off the roads. I have asthma and the cold air causes my air passages to constrict resulting in impaired breathing. Living in a small apartment in the city, I always worry about my car being parked out on the street but recently refrained from going outdoors just to check it due to the extreme cold. Today it warmed up, so I decided it would be a good day to do some grocery shopping. Hallelujah!

When I got to my car, I discovered that I had been issued three parking tickets for failure to move my car every 12 hours. Canterbury Road does not have alternate parking and I have been parking on Canterbury for years without any problem, so I was surprised to discover the city has an ordinance requiring us to move our cars every 12 hours no matter what. I checked online and discovered my failure to comply with Traffic Ordinance 111-16 will cost me $165.00. The ordinance states:

The driver of a vehicle shall not park such vehicle and the owner of a vehicle shall not suffer or permit such vehicle to be parked for more than 12 hours on any street in the city, except that where alternate parking regulations are in effect, parking shall be permitted for the maximum period authorized under such regulations.

If there were signs posted informing me of the ordinance, I surely would have complied with the law. It appears that someone complained about my car not having been moved for a few days. The business in front of which I usually park has a large parking lot, but where am I to park? They also don’t realize that a few weeks ago when we had a heavy snowfall, I shoveled their walkway from the street to their door just to be a good neighbor. My car was parked next to their walkway, so I thought I would be a good citizen and help them out. When necessary, I also keep fire hydrants clear of snow on our street, an effort from which they benefit. Of course, they don’t know any of this.

I am posting this because I would like you, the Mayor, and other city officials to have this parking restriction extended to 24 hours instead of 12 hours, which I feel is unreasonable, unnecessary and a burden to residents. 

A side note: I am very proud of being a resident of Rochester. Just yesterday, I started a new website to showcase our city. Parking is a small issue compared to things like violence and drugs and the like, but I know many people who hate to do business in our city just because of the parking hassles. I like to walk when supporting our local business, but now I am more likely to drive because the city requires me to move my car twice within a 24 hour period. I may as well kill two birds with one stone by driving to run my errands and later find a different location to park my car… if I can find one. Good grief!

It is only one day old but I invite you to visit my newest website, I would very much would like to be an advocate for our city. Please help me make it shine.

By the way, congratulations to you on becoming our new mayor. I know you will do your best.

Thank you,
Robert Johnson

Monroe Ave
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