City penalizes seniors with parking

There are around 12,000 inhabitants living in the city of Dunkirk. Of those, 15.4 percent or 1,906 are seniors 65 and older.

During the winter the alternate parking rule takes effect. Move your car to the opposite side of the street at 5 o’clock

The safety issue is based on the fact that it is dark at that time and made worse if snow has covered the sidewalks. For seniors this becomes a safety issue, especially if some have limited walking ability and need the use of a cane or other devices.

Some residents do not have a driveway at the side of their house and have to use the street. Many may live alone and can’t ask, “Honey, please go out and move the car.”

In 2006, I went to the Common Council meeting and was turned down. At that time the rule was 6 o’clock. I asked why not have the time at the beginning of the day instead of the end of the day. I suggested that noon would be sensible. Seniors could go out to do their shopping and on returning could park for the night.

It was turned down in favor of the “shift workers” and changed from 6 to 5 o’clock; still not solving the problem.

Seven years have passed, we all have grown older and now the problem is even more of a safety issue. I wonder how many people have fallen and broken bones since then?

I attended the Common Council meeting on Dec. 3 to address this problem once again stating that any daylight time would solve the issue, even 3 or 4 o’clock and I restated the safety issues. I was told I would be informed of the Council’s decision. In two days, I received a call that my proposal was again turned down. Their reasons:

The dark only lasts for two months.

An earlier time is not good for the “shift workers.”

I was the only one to ever complain.

Dunkirk is not senior friendly which was the headline of the article I wrote to the OBSERVER in 2006.

I would appreciate your feedback. Those who agree can e-mail me at or write to Rosamond Burns, 769 Washington Ave., Dunkirk, NY 14048.

Do you have to use the street to park? Do you have suggestions?

Thank you.

Rosamond Burns is a Dunkirk resident.