River Market launches 4 paid lots in attempt to solve parking is - KCTV5 News

River Market launches 4 paid lots in attempt to solve parking issues

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Starting Thursday, the parking lots around City Market will charge drivers who park there. (KCTV5) Starting Thursday, the parking lots around City Market will charge drivers who park there. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

People who live, work, visit or just wander into Kansas City’s famed River Market will notice something new when they park their cars on Thursday.

Starting Thursday, the parking lots around City Market will charge drivers who park there.

The four lots surrounding the market will charge one dollar per hour, Monday thru Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The parking lot inside the square will remain free but will only allow drivers to park there for two hours.

Weekends will remain free, which will be beneficial for those who visit the farmers market.

Many people who work in the area say long-term parking around the city market is the problem. They say large amounts of people park in the area, catch the streetcar, go to work and never shop in the area. They hope the new plan will deter people from doing that. 

Business owners in the area have mixed feelings about the move as many don’t want paid parking anywhere in the area but agree that the plan is a good compromise.

“It’s wait and see. The people that I’ve spoken to, nobody is massively excited about it because nobody here believes that charging people to park here is going to increase numbers because it’s not,” said Richard McFarlane-Clark of Wells Family Farms Locally Sourced MEATS.

Business owners were originally upset by the thought of paying for parking, walking out on the first planning meeting, but after a few months were appeased with the current plan.

“We are new to the City Market but the parking has been free, but it has also been difficult for me to find a spot sometimes,” Hyper KC owner David Lindahl said.

“We believe that it doesn’t need to be this way," McFarlane-Clark said. "There are other ways to stop long-term parking problems and long-term parking is a problem here.”

While McFarlane-Clark thinks the idea is a good compromise, he does recognize that the new plan could create problems.

“It’s going to be difficult for us long term because people are not going to come and pay if they are only going to buy a pound of sausage off me, a bag of potatoes off the other guy. If they are paying for it, it’s an added cost. So it’s yet to be seen,” he said.

One area business owner told KCTV5 News that if people were to think back 10 years, they would remember that few people came to the River Market. He says if business owners were told, back then, that they would have enough business to start charging for parking they would be excited about how much they had grown.

Drivers will be able to cover their parking costs at pay stations set up in each parking lot.

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