Investigation reveals Kansas City's parking ticket hot spots - KCTV5

With the help of a Missouri non-profit, Investigative Editors and Reporters, in Columbia, the parking ticket locations provided to KCTV5 News were geo-coded, giving each ticket a mark for latitude and longitude to make a point on a map.

Editor's note: The official data provided to KCTV had numerous spelling mistakes or possible address errors, which could lead to a stray addresses appearing in misplaced locations.

Investigation reveals Kansas City's parking ticket hot spots

Posted: Updated:
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Kansas City has an app for smartphones that could save drivers time and money the next time they park in the city.

That would be quite helpful, since there are now more parking control officers on the street than in years past.

Through a Missouri Sunshine Law request for public documents, KCTV5 News obtained the addresses of all the electronic parking tickets issued by the city since mid-2011 until earlier this year.

During that time, more than 98,000 people have paid $2,318,908.33 in ticket fines to Municipal Court.

Upon review, as one might expect, downtown, the Country Club Plaza and Hospital Hill areas saw their fair share of parking tickets.

KCTV5 found some other parking hot spots where drivers might stop at this summer that may require some extra time when trying to find a parking spot.

Records show that more than 660 tickets were issued outside the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, near East 45th and Oak streets.

Outside the downtown Kansas City Public Library, more than 730 tickets were written in the area. And near the soccer stadium on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus, more than 1,000 tickets were handed out around West 51st Street.

The street with the most citations was Holmes Street with more than 6,600 citations issued, according to public records.

"It was my first time using it, they had moved locations, I had never been to this location," said Anita Brown, a Plaza diner.

Earlier this spring, Brown pulled her car into a spot that said it was for customer only parking for pick-up only, at a restaurant at West 47th and Jefferson streets.

When she got out of the restaurant with her food in hand, there was a city ticket on her windshield for $69.50.

"It's very confusing, so I asked the police officer to show me where I was in the loading zone, he pointed to the loading zone picture on the corner," said Brown. "I said these signs are out here should that be OK for me to park? He said, no."

Brown missed the city's parking signs that prohibited parking.

According to City Hall, there are no special permits issued to businesses to allow customers in zones that would violate a city parking sign.

"Parking controls motto is to keep the flow of traffic flowing," parking officer Ted Smith said.

Smith has been making sure drivers park where they are supposed to in Kansas City for more than 20 years.

He's also has helped police find vehicles wanted for a variety of warrants. Also, during that time, he said he has heard a wide variety of excuses as to why someone should not get a ticket.

"Everybody was just in it for a minute, I see the no parking sign but I was just in there for a minute," Smith said.

City Hall's latest budget authorized more funding for additional traffic officers to be hired. Now, there are 10 officers that handle parking violations city wide.

The parking officers, civilians in the Kansas City Police Department, spend their days looking for parking violators but also help answering complaints from residents about cars illegally parked that are phoned in to the city's 311 Action Center.

Brown said that the traffic court judge let her out of the parking ticket due to the confusion about the restaurant and city signs.

Kansas City signed a contract with Parkmobile.com to allow payment for city parking meters to be done on a mobile device.

Drivers can pay the meter with a debit, credit card or PayPal account. When time is about to run out, they will get a notification so they can add extra money before it expires.

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