Buffalo, Buffalo, No Place to Park

In Buffalo there is a familiar song in the air. “Give me more spaces, give me more room, give me more places to park the varooom.”

Well they might not be singing that exactly but the Niagara Frontier Transporation Authority is undertaking a study to alleviate a parking crunch. The Buffalo News has the story in today’s paper.

“It’s a good problem to have. It demonstrates that business at the airport is booming,” said NFTA Chairman Gregory Stamm. “But it’s something we have to address so we remain the clear air travel choice for area residents and travelers from Southern Ontario.”

In 2006, the airport surpassed the 5 million passenger mark for the first time, a flier count that was not forecast to be reached until 2020. Revised forecasts now anticipate hitting the 6 million mark in 2014. Sounds like parking in Buffalo is going to be a lot harder in the years to come.

“The new terminal has plenty of room for that growth; it’s parking that will become a problem if we don’t address it,” Stamm said.

While on most days fliers will find plenty of room in the Buffalo airport’s 6,900 spaces, during peak travel periods it can be difficult to hunt down a parking slot. A prime example of the space crunch came during the Spring Break/Easter period, when the NFTA needed to lease 500 spaces behind the former Radisson Hotel on Genesee Street to accommodate the overflow crowd.

“We ran out of room and were able to find a solution, but we know as the passenger count grows, we need a formal strategy to make adequate parking available,” said William Vanecek, the NFTA’s aviation director.