Police to ‘Educate’ Downtown Motorists Before Parking Crackdown

The Kansas City Police Department is hiring 10 additional parking enforcement officers for downtown.

Updated with message from City Manager: Starting Monday, April 9, @kcpolice will increase downtown parking enforcement. Warning tickets will be issued for a short period, however, if the parking violation is a safety concern, or impedes the natural flow of traffic, a citation could be issued. More details here.

Downtown motorists will have an “education” break during March before a new, aggressive push to enforce parking regulations begins, Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith said Wednesday.

The City Council recently approved funding to allow police to hire 10 additional parking control officers, all assigned to downtown. The move comes after an earlier plan by the city to privatize parking enforcement was shelved.

Police Chief Rick Smith

In his department blog, Smith said those new hires mean a much more aggressive enforcement of downtown parking regulations.

“At present, we have just four parking control officers and two supervisors for the entire city,” Smith wrote.

“They have worked their tails off to keep up with complaints, special events and more, but there just weren’t enough of them to keep up with growing downtown parking needs.

“To keep parking spaces turning over for everyone who needs them downtown, we will be stepping enforcement up considerably with the help of the new parking control officers.

“We’re not going to start handing out thousands more parking tickets overnight, though. We’ll begin a period of public education this month, which will include issuing a lot of warnings in lieu of tickets.

Smith also reminded people driving downtown about the new parking policy implemented at the beginning of this month in the City Market.

The City Market has begun charging for parking during weekday business hours in response to people who’d been leaving their cars there and riding the streetcar to their jobs.

The police chief said the crackdown on parking violations is in response to complaints from downtown businesses and residents.

“We’ve heard from several downtown business owners recently that their customers can’t park at their businesses because downtown residents have overstayed their time in parking spots,” he wrote.

“We’ve heard from downtown residents that people attending special events have taken up their parking spots. And we’ve heard from people attending downtown events that they can’t find a place to park.

“The renewed vibrancy of our downtown is exciting, but it comes with some growing pains. We look forward to working with everyone to make parking accessible to as many people as possible in the heart of KC.”

Smith invited people to contact him at kcpdchiefblog@kcpd.org.

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  1. At least if you work downtown, if you pay a monthly fee to park at a parking facility, you know you will be able to park there. At the River Market, they are asking us to pay $55.00 a month for a “chance” to get a parking space within the city lots. So I would have to pay the “discounted” price of $110.00 a month for my assistant and myself to have the “right” to park in the lots, but no guarantee of finding a parking space; if the lots fill up, then despite my sticker, I won’t get to park there. I don’t mind paying for parking and would be happy to pay to park in a lot, but I don’t want to pay for something I may not get. And people are STILL parking down here and riding the streetcar downtown or people are parking here for special events like the Big 12 last week and then taking the streetcar. Believe me, I’m already very well educated on the lack of parking in the River Market and don’t see how this new policy will benefit anyone but Premier Parking.

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