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Pressure for change in new Downtown Rochester parking rates

City of Rochester

The push continues by a number of downtown businesses and organizations to have the City of Rochester roll back a recent change in the parking rates. 

The recent changes in metered parking in downtown Rochester continues to generate pushback from local businesses and organizations.

A petition to City Hall officials and members of City Council calls the decision to extend parking charges at meters and kiosks from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. short-sighted and says that change should be reversed immediately.

Rochester city officials have said they needed to make the move as part of balancing the new city budget. It’s estimated the change will generate about $214,000.

But the petition, which now has over 2,000 signatures, calls that a band-aid approach and urges the city to look at alternatives.

Jacob Rakovan is a co-owner of the Spirit Room, a craft cocktail location and restaurant on State Street.

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He says that issues involving downtown parking also impact his workers who can't get always get outside to feed a meter. 

“The main issue here is exactly that impact on the working class and the people that are actually working to revitalize downtown  I don’t think there was much thought put into that has on cooks, and servers and just people that work in these businesses downtown.”

A recent survey taken by the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation found that 68 percent of businesses and organizations and 73 percent of residents would rather see the daily, weekday parking rates rise slightly, while having the downtown meters end at 6:00 p.m. rather than 8:00 p.m.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.