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Restricted parking at municipal lot on Varick Street has some upset

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Some people are upset about a new sign next to a Varick Street restaurant and pub.

The City of Utica owns the lot next to Nail Creek Pub and Brewery on Varick Street and they recently posted a sign prohibiting overnight parking between the hours of 2 and 6 a.m. Some fear that, especially on nights like Saranac Thursdays, it will discourage people who drink from leaving their cars overnight and getting a safe ride home.

However, city officials say the effort is not intended to encourage drunk driving, but rather, to discourage people from treating the lot like their own free long-term car storage.

"It's there to discourage abuse of the system," said Gene Allen, Director of Marketing for the City of Utica. "It gives the ability to ticket somebody, but it doesn't mean we're going to be out there every single night at 2 a.m. handing out tickets."

Allen also points out that the lot is small in size, only able to accommodate up to around 20 cars, while Saranac Thursdays attracts thousands.

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