AUBURN — The Auburn City Council is considering enacting an overnight parking ban in downtown Auburn.
During a presentation to the city council Thursday evening, Auburn Police Officer Greg Gilfus, the department's traffic coordinator, said the APD received a complaint earlier this year from the owners of Hunter's Diner in regard to vehicles being left in the parking spots in front of their restaurant over night. The owners said this was impacting their business because there was no place for early-morning customers to park their cars.
Gilfus said the police department conducted an investigation into the complaint and discovered nearby tenants were parking their cars on the street on Friday nights and not moving them again until Monday morning. This not only negatively impacts downtown Auburn businesses, Gilfus said, but also hinders snow removal during winter months.
Gilfus proposed two options to amend the current parking code, which bars overnight parking from 3 to 7 a.m. on Genesee Street from William and Dill streets to Loop Road.
The first option would essentially ban parking on any downtown streets from 3 to 6 a.m. by prohibiting parking on Genesee and most of its side streets. The second option would only disallow parking on Genesee Street from John and Owasco streets to James Street.
Mayor Michael Quill said he is in favor of the second option, referring to it as a "baby step," and would like to see the law enacted before winter hits.
Councilor Dia Carbajal said she was concerned that the overnight parking ban could prompt intoxicated individuals who park on downtown streets to move their cars while they've been drinking to avoid getting a ticket.
"I think that if we're encouraging a night life in downtown Auburn, we need to remember that (drinking) is something that happens in downtown," Carbajal said. "I would hate to think that somebody would try to move their car and that would cause something bad to happen."
Council members agreed that the city would have to work with downtown business owners to educate residents about the change if it is approved by council down the line.
Along with the overnight parking ban, the city is also considering setting the speed limit in all city school zones at 20 mph and prohibiting vehicles from making left turns from Garrow Street to Genesee Street from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 to 4 p.m. from Sept. 1 through June 30.
In order to change a local law, the proposed change must come before the council four separate times and the city is required to hold a public hearing.
In other news
• Cayuga Community College is hoping to expand its athletic program by adding a men's baseball team to its list of collegiate sports.
CCC President Brian Durant asked the city council to consider allowing the college to use Falcon Park as the future team's home field. The Auburn High School baseball team already plays some of its games there.
Durant also asked council to think about letting the current women's softball team use the Casey Park softball fields.
"I believe firmly that something like athletics is one reason why students will choose your institution over another," Durant said.
Councilor Jimmy Giannettino voiced his approval of the idea.
"I applaud you for reaching out to us and wanting to embark on this endeavor," Giannettino said to Durant.
Council will vote on resolutions pertaining to the college's request in the coming weeks.