BUFFALO, NY - An unusual parking job along one of the city's busiest commercial strips, has resulted in several tickets for a business running a promotion.
There's an Alpha Romeo up on a scaffold in front of Thin Man Brewery in the heart of the Elmwood Village. It also surrounded by concrete barriers.
A viewer told us it's been accumulating tickets since being placed there early this week.
Tim Mitchell who lives down the block says it was actually parked on the street like any other car for several days getting tickets, before being perched aloft with a forklift.
Several others report the police department continued to ticket the vehicle once it was moved up on the scaffold.
If you leave a car on the street days on end accumulating tickets, the city will usually have it towed.
That simple task, however, would now seem more difficult if not daunting unless the city employs a crane.
It turns out it is all part of a promotional contest by Thin Man, in which you could actually win the car.
And if the goal of putting it here was to draw attention, it appears that mission has been accomplished, judging by the numerous passersby who stopped to look at it on Thursday.
But it's also drawn the attention of Niagara District Common Council member David Rivera
"If it’s part of some sort of promotional effort, you can't use the public right of way to do that," Rivera told WGRZ-TV, while noting the display has taken up two parking spaces for 24 hours a day, possibly at the expense of other nearby businesses.
“Parking is at a premium here….it’s probably one of the biggest complaints that I hear as a council member. Especially in the Elmwood Village," he said.
“I think it adds a little bit of excitement to the street,” said Mark Gademsky, who owns the building immediately south of Thin Man Brewery, and who said he had no qualms with the car being parked there.
“This is Elmwood Avenue. It's a commercial district that's what this place is for," Gademsky said.
As a neighborhood resident, Mitchell doesn't it mind either.
“They should just leave it alone. This city is not broke, and it’s never going to get as much money as it wants to get from passing out tickets,” said Mitchell, who described Thin Man Brewery as an asset to the community.
However, Rivera sees the potential for a slippery slope.
“What if another business down the street wants to do this too? Absent a special permit, the parking rules we have need to be obeyed,” he said, promising to inquire whether the owners had obtained any sort of waiver from the city.
Apparently, they hadn’t.
According to a text from a City Hall spokesperson, after we inquired about it, the city’s Commissioner of Parking placed a call to Thin Man Brewery owner Rocco Termini advising him that to do such a thing, he needed to obtain a street obstruction permit from the city’s Department of Public Works.
Termini did not return a call for comment regarding this story, or whether he planned to remove the car, or continue to accept tickets as the cost of doing business, or try and obtain the necessary permit.
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