KC expanding paid parking spaces in some River Market and downtown areas

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 8:50 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Kansas City is considering extending more paid parking spaces to seven days a week.

The city started moving toward weeklong parking policies in Februrary to reflect heightened demand during weekends and evenings in the River Market.

Recently, construction in the River Market and changes to parking policies have been frustrating for some business owners.

Steve Stegall, who owns The Blue Line bar, said he, his employees and customers have been struggling to find parking spots for the past few months.

Outside the business are several free, two-hour spots on the street and a private paid lot. Stegall said his employees are reluctant to pay for parking or move their cars every couple of hours, which has resulted in an increasing number of parking citations.

Many of his customers have voiced similar concerns, especially during sporting events lasting longer than two hours.

“There’s just no parking down here,” Stegall said.

Parking meters generate around $1.4 million annually for the city’s general fund. Surface lots and garages are typically an expensive undertaking, which can be partially offset through parking charges.

But, charging for parking is not just a matter of revenue.

Matt Staub, the chair of Kansas City’s Parking and Transportation Commission, said charging for parking typically encourages parking turnover, since drivers return to their cars more quickly and don’t compete over a limited number of free spots.

“Street space is a limited commodity,” Staub said. “There’s only so much to go around. So, we have to be really intentional with what we do with it.”

“This is good news if you want to find a parking space,” he continued. “That’s the whole idea here. We’re going to make the most valuable spaces work harder. That makes the market start to work.”