Parking along KC Streetcar route doesn’t meet city ordinance - KCTV5

Parking along KC Streetcar route doesn’t meet city ordinance

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If you parallel park along the streetcar route and you’re not inside the white lines, you will get a ticket. (KCTV5) If you parallel park along the streetcar route and you’re not inside the white lines, you will get a ticket. (KCTV5)
It’s a $72.50 ticket if your entire vehicle, including the side mirrors, aren’t between the curb and the white line. It’s another $270 if your car gets towed. (KCTV5) It’s a $72.50 ticket if your entire vehicle, including the side mirrors, aren’t between the curb and the white line. It’s another $270 if your car gets towed. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

If you parallel park along the streetcar route and you’re not inside the white lines, you will get a ticket.

It’s a $72.50 ticket if your entire vehicle, including the side mirrors, aren’t between the curb and the white line. It’s another $270 if your car gets towed.

KCTV5 News found those parallel parking spots don’t meet the city’s own parking ordinance. 

Section 52-38 of the Kansas City Code of Ordinance states a standard parking space must be 8’6” wide, unless it’s a space only meant for compact cars, which is 7’6”.

KCTV5 pulled out a tape measure and started measuring the spots.

On one side of the street at 16th and Main streets, the spot is only 6’4” wide. On the opposite side of the street, it’s only 6’1.5”. Both areas are more than a foot shorter than the city’s specified ordinance. They’re also not consistent. A driver might fit their truck or SUV into one spot but might not fit into another.

Josh Kirk lives downtown and says he noticed the problem when his Ford Fusion didn’t fit between the white line and the curb. Kansas City’s parking patrol wrote him a ticket.

“I went to court and the did drop them,” says Kirk. “I said the lines were too narrow but they haven’t done anything about it yet.”

Pat Carroll, owner of Gallup Map at 17th & Main streets, says downtown businesses are battling the skinny spots. Customers who can’t fit between the lines either give up or get a ticket.

The spots in front of his business originally measured at just 64 inches, 38 inches shorter than the city ordinance.

A Prius, Mini Cooper or Fiat wouldn’t be able to fit in the space without going up on the curb or getting a ticket.

The city has since repainted those lines to make it 74 inches wide, still more than two feet shorter than what’s mandated by the city.

KCTV5 took our findings to the city and a spokesman said the ordinance is more of a ‘baseline’ or ‘starting point.’ Sean Demory, who oversees streets and roads for Kansas City, says the city wanted to make sure downtown didn’t lose parking with the arrival of the streetcar.

“We want to make sure as many people can park downtown as much as possible within the bounds of safety,” says Demory.

The Kansas City Streetcar recently launched a public awareness campaign about driving, parking and walking around the streetcar.

The streetcar website even addresses the problem with the skinny spots:

“The parallel space widths were set based on the available width between the face of the curb and the dynamic envelope of the streetcar. Because the rail alignment and the curb lines aren’t parallel throughout the alignment, those widths vary. Widths are more uniform elsewhere in the city, but we have to be flexible to safely accommodate motorists and the streetcar on Main Street.  The varied parking widths are an attempt to preserve as much parking for businesses as possible. The alternate approach would be to set an arbitrary parking width requirement and eliminate any areas of parking that did not meet that width. We chose to listen to the businesses and preserve as much as we could.”

Kirk says from now on he’ll put his tires on the curb, to make sure he’s inside the white lines.

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