Ithaca City Leaders Look to Make Parking Downtown Humorous in New Ad Campaign

ITHACA, N.Y. --  Ithaca city leaders have introduced an ad campaign for locals and visitors to park downtown. And the man making the pitch is familiar to the city and the region.

"We did recruit Hilby the Skinny German Juggling Boy. These are educational videos to help people understand how do you park on the street, how do you park in the garages and just what do you do when you come to town," Ferguson said.

All to bring humor to what can be a stressful activity when spending time in any busy downtown area. Like most cities, parking meters have transformed to pay stations.

"If I do have to park, I choose to park in the garage just because it seems easier. I don't like how the meters are so sparse so you have to park and then find the meter," said Sandra Sorenson an Ithaca resident.

"I know not of out of towners, but local people who don't come downtown because they don't want to park in the ramp or they don't know where they're going to end up parking if they can find a spot on the street. I think that ambiguity keeps them away," said Nancy Massicci, a daily commuter to and from Downtown Ithaca.

The city hopes this video, with information on some new methods, will bring them back.

"You just hang this on your windshield, just scratch off the amount of the day and the time, and that's it you just go from there," Ferguson said.

And for those seeking the greatest of ease, the new hotels offer valet parking, even if you are not a guest. That means one less thing for travellers to worry about.

The scratch off parking tags can be purchased at area supermarkets and City Hall.

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