Wichita looking at plan to shape downtown parking options
If you look around downtown Wichita and you’ll see cars parked everywhere, on the street or in lots. It is something that often goes unnoticed by most but the city of Wichita thinks about parking a lot.
Councilman Brandon Johnson says the city has “been looking at downtown streets and parking for quite some time and trying to get more efficient. So looking at where parking is needed, compared to where all it is, what that looks like this plan.”
On Tuesday the City Council will vote on a parking plan that looks to improve parking in the city, mostly in downtown. It's a plan that was researched back in 2018 and 2019 but has been on hold since the pandemic.
Johnson says the fact the plan is almost four years isn't concerning. “We restarted the steering committee, we had some new members on there and we started with, this is where we left off and does this still make sense?"
The plan calls for several adjustments including updating meters to include ones that can take cards.
Something that residents, like Zach Dugger, would like to see. “ I think that would be a huge benefit with specifically going changing the meters to allow for card access. Now a lot of people have coins on them, I can attest that I use mainly cash and card.”
The new meters or if the city adds more could come with changes and potential spikes in fees. The parking plan says changes in fees could lead to more spot turnover, which is good for occupancy numbers but could cost people.
Johnson says the plan is a guide and not a hard set list of rules so when it comes to increasing prices, “I think that's a conversation we're gonna keep having. I mean, you know, we also need to be equitable with some of our other cities in the region and we'll see what they're doing versus what we're doing in Wichita.”
You can read the full report below.