With high volume tickets and other arrests made as a result of the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office initiative underway, court evenings in the Village and Town of Avon tend to get busy.
“You go to any town along (Interstate) 390 and court night is crowded,” said village mayor Tom Freeman. “And they are non-residents. It’s a 390 deal.
All of those non-residents who travel to Avon to appear in court understandably need a place to park their vehicles, Freeman said, which can cause headaches on court nights.
“It just fills all the current downtown spaces and has a huge impact on local open businesses,” he said.
Now, in an effort to resolve the parking issue, the Village and Town of Avon are jointly pursuing a redesign of a municipal parking lot in the village which Freeman says will make court evenings a bit smoother and ensure that customers seeking to frequent downtown businesses have a place to park.
The project will be overseen by two members of the village planning council, two members of the town planning council, a member of the village council and a member of the city council, Freeman said.
“(We) are going to work on this project to encourage more people to come downtown, to feel safe, to have well-lit parking lots,” he said.
The land, which now exists as a patchwork of gravel and old cobblestones, is sandwiched between Genesee Street to the east and South Avenue to the west.
The plan, said Freeman, who stressed that things are preliminary and may change before a final plan is made, is to expand the current parking lot into two residential plots that the village has purchased in recent years. When complete, the new lot would have parking for 100 vehicles, Freeman said.
“Over the years the village has purchased two properties which are now secured by municipal ownership to allow us to do this,” he said. “If we were a Walmart or a Wegman coming in and wanting to put a building in that parking lot, we’d ask for a landscaped berm to project our neighbors (and) that’s what we’re going to do ourselves… to showcase their property. “
Freeman said business owners and tenants on the west side of Genesee Street whose properties backing onto the lot were brought into the planning process at a meeting last fall. During the meeting, the possibility of a system of communal bins was discussed to limit the amount of waste visible to those who use the new car park once it is finished.
“If you ever drive behind stores, the first thing that jumps out at you is that everyone has their own dumpster, their own garbage collection,” Freeman said. “So what we immediately talked about was a bin that will be convenient enough to be shared by tenants and businesses so that we can clean it up – no one wants to miss a bin. “