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Clayton seeking proposals for downtown shuttle service

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CLAYTON — To mitigate anticipated parking shortages downtown this summer, the village board is seeking a contractor to run a shuttle service connecting its business district to remote parking areas.

In addition to a sewer project on Riverside Drive, the Buffalo-based Krog Corp. plans to break ground on a 12- to 14-month hotel construction project at the 8.4-acre Frink site, which was being used for public parking, as soon as April.

Village Trustee Dennis H. Honeywell said a request for proposals was issued recently for a shuttle service, with a capacity of about 15 passengers, to transport visitors between remote parking areas and major attractions, including the Antique Boat Museum and the Clayton Opera House.

While a shuttle or a trolley service certainly would add to the convenience of visitors to Clayton, Mr. Honeywell said, there are a lot of details that have to be hammered out first.

“And if we don’t get any proposals, we’ve got to go back to the drawing board,” he said.

Mr. Honeywell said the village board is open to ideas on how to run the service and plans to hold a public forum in mid-March to gather feedback from local merchants and residents.

For months, the town and village’s joint Parking and Traffic Committee has been looking for ways to alleviate traffic congestion in downtown Clayton. Mr. Honeywell is a member of the committee.

At the committee’s recommendation, Clayton will be expanding two parking areas — one on Graves Street near the Clayton Fire Department and the other at the Lions Field on Webb Street.

Its proposal to the village board also includes suggestions such as designating 15-minute parking spots and placing digital parking meters on Riverside Drive — from Bella’s, 602 Riverside Drive, to Webb Street — and charging a higher hourly rate of 50 cents.

The committee also recommended that parking lot lines at the municipal building on Mary Street be redrawn to add a few spots and that Guardino Elementary School’s lot be used for public parking.

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