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BUFFALO, NY - The growth at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is causing a parking issue for a nearby neighborhood. Residents in the Fruit Belt welcome the new jobs and economic growth, they just wish workers and visitors to the medical campus would not park in front of their homes.

Benjamin Cashaw, Founder of the Fruit Belt Coalition, said, "Most of the residents over here do not have driveways and these are older built structures. The only place these residents have to park is in front of their homes."

The free spaces in the Fruit Belt, a public residential neighborhood, are now being taken up by medical campus employees or people going to appointments.

Cashaw said, "If you can imagine getting off work and you can't even park close to your own home. They've parked two to three blocks away in the dead of winter and had to walk with groceries and stuff."

The Fruit Belt Coalition brought up the issue five years ago and now lawmakers are getting involved.

Senator Tim Kennedy said,"Our legislation will give the City of Buffalo the opportunity to establish a residential parking permit program for the Fruit Belt neighborhood which will help mitigate growing concerns over parking."

The proposal would allow the program to be established along the most heavily impacted streets, including sections of Maple, Mulberry, Locust, Carlton and High streets.

Twenty percent of the spaces would still be available for short-term, non-residential parking, but the rest would be reserved for residents who would be issued permits to park. The Fruit Belt coalition wants two to be given to each home.

The proposal passed through the Assembly. The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc. supports the proposal.

Resident Willie Cunningham said, "Hopefully, they will get this resolved soon rather than later because it's been awhile since we've been putting up with this and it's an inconvenience."

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