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September 23, 2018

Fulton Council Rejects Plan to Change Downtown Parking Rules


Fulton city parking lot 5, adjacent to the Tavern on the Lock restaurant. The outside ring of parking spaces is two-hour only, while the center island of spaces is all-day parking.

Fulton city parking lot 5, adjacent to the Tavern on the Lock restaurant. The outside ring of parking spaces is two-hour only, while the center island of spaces is all-day parking.

For weeks, the owner of the downtown Fulton restaurant The Tavern on the Lock has wanted an answer.  Will the city end all day parking in the lot next to his building?

The Common Council held a public hearing more than a month ago but took no vote.

Two weeks ago, the matter did not make the Council’s agenda because two of seven members were absent.

Tuesday night, the item was finally on the agenda.

At issue for restaurant owner Don Ryan is the handful of spaces in the city-owned lot at the corner of S. First St. and Oneida St.  Half of the lot is two-hour only parking and the other half is set aside for all day parking.

Ryan has complained that people who work in downtown business clog those spaces, giving people the impression his restaurant is too crowded when it is not.  He says he’s losing thousands of dollars in business because of it.

But some of the downtown businesses have said that all-day parking spaces are too far away for employees to walk in the winter or when they carry heavy loads.

Most of the city’s lots that are adjacent to retail or service businesses are two-hour parking only.  A couple of more distant lots have all-day parking.

And that’s where the issue stood Tuesday night as the resolution was read that would change the lot to two hour parking only.

Mayor Ron Woodward asked for a motion to approve the resolution, the first step in debating it and then voting on it.

But there was no motion.  No one spoke.

Aldermen Daryl Hayden and Jay Foster looked down.  Council President Tom Kenyon wrote something on his papers, while Alderman Dan Knopp shuffled his.

“Any motion?” asked Mayor Ron Woodward.

Silence. Ryan’s request died without a vote, a highly unusual action.

Ryan stepped to the microphone a few moments later to ask for an explanation.

Kenyon said the city needed to preserve about 132 spaces for all day parking for the people who work downtown.  Woodward said that because businesses were unwilling to force their employees to park in the more distant all-day lots, changing the time restriction of one lot won’t change anything.

“The city’s invested a ton of money in parking downtown and I’ll tell you, I think we went overboard,” Woodward said.

“The parking lot drives me nuts,” said Ryan.

The city operates seven municipal parking lots. Some are busy all of the time; at least one gets nearly no traffic at all. They are: Lot 1, which is the big lot at Canal Landing. It is surrounded by storefronts, including Dollar General, Canalview Travel and Empire Vision Center. There are 75 all-day spaces here, and 32 two-hour spaces; Lot 2, the tiny lot behind the former Wayne's Drugs building. The lot has 17 two-hour spots; Lot 3, a small lot across Oneida St. from the downtown business district. There are 22 spaces in the lot, which are available only by buying a permit from the city; Lot 4, the large, rarely-used lot between Lot 3 and Black Clawson. This lot is down a fairly steep grade from Oneida St. and the business district. Almost no one parks here, except for the occasional fisherman. Skateboarders use the lot in the summer; the city stores snow here in the winter; Lot 5, the disputed lot next to Tavern on the Green, with 24 all-day spaces in the center of the lot, ringed by 26 two-hour spaces; Lot 6, across from Fulton Savings Bank, which has 37 two-hour spaces, and; Lot 7, adjacent to Lot 6 and across from Towpath Towers senior home, which has 20 spaces reserved for the home's residents and 60 spaces available by permit only. Add it up: 99 all-day spaces, 117 two-hour spaces, 82 available by permit only.

(Click the map for a full-sized version) The city operates seven municipal parking lots. Some are busy all of the time; at least one gets nearly no traffic at all. They are: Lot 1, which is the big lot at Canal Landing. It is surrounded by storefronts, including Dollar General, Canalview Travel and Empire Vision Center. There are 75 all-day spaces here, and 32 two-hour spaces; Lot 2, the tiny lot behind the former Wayne's Drugs building. The lot has 17 two-hour spots; Lot 3, a small lot across Oneida St. from the downtown business district. There are 22 spaces in the lot, which are available only by buying a permit from the city; Lot 4, the large, rarely-used lot between Lot 3 and Black Clawson. This lot is down a fairly steep grade from Oneida St. and the business district. Almost no one parks here, except for the occasional fisherman. Skateboarders use the lot in the summer; the city stores snow here in the winter; Lot 5, the disputed lot next to Tavern on the Green, with 24 all-day spaces in the center of the lot, ringed by 26 two-hour spaces; Lot 6, across from Fulton Savings Bank, which has 37 two-hour spaces, and; Lot 7, adjacent to Lot 6 and across from Towpath Towers senior home, which has 20 spaces reserved for the home's residents and 60 spaces available by permit only. Add it up: 99 all-day spaces, 117 two-hour spaces, 82 available by permit only.

3 Responses “Fulton Council Rejects Plan to Change Downtown Parking Rules”

  1. Karen O
    August 18, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I think the correct decision was made.Why should the parking be changed for 1 business? The Lock has been there for almost 25 years and never has there been so many complaints from an owner.Be grateful Mr.Ryan that you have a thriving business in Fulton !!

  2. Joe Cortini
    August 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Tough issue. Bottom line: Employees should park in such a manner to allow paying customers the best spots. Ask anyone that works in a metro area (downtown Syracuse) and they’ll tell how lucky they are to be able to park 2 blocks away.

  3. Sherry
    August 21, 2010 at 7:29 am

    I agree with Joe. In my younger years when I worked in business establishments we were ALWAYS made to park in the spaces further away from the business. The lot in question always makes me crazy when I want to park there and go to the Tavern. Luckily I can usually find a spot on the street. I don’t think that Mr. Ryan needs to worry. Those of us who live around here know that lot is being used by area business people and that even if you WERE busy, you are worth the wait :)

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