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Winton Branch Library Parking Lot Gate Response
Winton Branch Library Parking Lot Gate Response

Winton Branch Library Parking Lot Gate Response

The Winton Branch of the Rochester Public Library has recently installed a gate barring people from using their parking lot when the building is closed. The North Winton Village Association is against that decision due to its negative effect on the many neighbors and visitors frequenting the businesses on Winton Rd.

We’ve met with representatives from the library and have sent the following letter to the City of Rochester Law Department, and to the attention of Mayor Warren, City Council, and representatives from Neighborhood and Business Development, and Rochester Public Library.

Many years ago, the North Winton Village Association (NWVA) worked with the library system and City Hall to use the Winton Road branch parking lot for our merchants, after the library was closed, in order to help with economic development in North Winton Village. It was a good partnership.

The NWVA believed that by keeping our corridors safe, and by working on beautification, we would bring in good businesses. This would then help to raise the quality of life for the whole neighborhood — and it worked. We are 100 percent volunteers and have worked hard.

This relationship with the library system, City Hall, and the NWVA has now broken down and not only are our businesses going to be jeopardized, but also our main corridors and neighborhood. There are more than 17 businesses in this three-block Winton Rd. area, close to the library, and many more close to Winton. There are also many, many jobs connected to these businesses. We are also fortunate to now have a building in the process of being completely renovated, which will bring in more businesses and more jobs. What you are doing is very destructive and leaves us with one question, “Why do you want to hinder economic development in North Winton Village?”

Please find below the NWVA’s response to your statements and that of the City of Rochester’s Law Department regarding the use of the Winton Branch library parking lot after the library is closed.

  1. To say you need a gate and it has to be closed so that the library patrons can use the library is completely illogical. You close the gate when the library closes. There are no patrons who will use it at that time because it is closed. The lot stays empty and only helps to hinder parking for our businesses. We then see people who cannot park leave a city neighborhood and go to the suburbs where they can park.
  2. As taxpayers who pay the bills, we understand your statement regarding the possibility of being sued when someone may fall in the parking lot, no matter what time of day. However, what we do not understand is why are there not gates or fences put up around all City properties, including libraries? All are open to lawsuits. It appears that liability is all around us, including City-owned buildings, and it also appears North Winton Village is being singled out.We understand that a merchant has now put up a fence on one side, which would lower the risk of liability.
  3. Your statement regarding inappropriate trash being left in the lot can be rectified because the merchants said that they would clean up anything left after hours and make sure it is clean. However, we also hear that the garbage in the library parking lot has not even improved much since the gate was installed.

We would appreciate it if City Hall and their law department would take another look at this issue. This is not only detrimental to our businesses’ ability to make money, and our citizens’ ability to obtain jobs, but also to our property values. Parking is a big problem in many neighborhoods in Rochester and you would think a high priority of City Hall’s economic development. To punish North Winton Village instead of helping, after all our hard work, is more than disappointing. We are still devastated regarding the Aldi decision and wonder why there was not an environmental study included when it went to the Appleate Court.

Looking forward to a response from you, your law department, the library system, and City Hall. Our neighborhood is important, as are all City neighborhoods.

Sincerely,

The North Winton Village Board

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