New-ish parking regulations at River Market

By Joe Jarosz
Northeast News
March 23, 2016

Last week, the River Market Community Association posted the following warning on their Facebook page. “New Parking Regulations in City Market: City Market Square parking is designated for customer parking. Effective April 1, 2016, parking in the Market Square will be restricted to 2-hour parking only. Violators will be ticketed $25 per occurrence. Overnight parking Friday night through Sunday is prohibited. Violators will be towed.”

Despite the social media post, there actually aren’t any new regulations. Parking inside the Market Square has always been designated for customers of the City Market Square and the City Market now plans to enforce the rules that have been on the books for a while.

So why the post if there’s actually nothing new? Sue Patterson, Director of Marketing and Events for the City Market, said with the opening of the Kansas City Streetcar on May 6, City Market staff has been getting an influx of phone calls asking questions about parking in the River Market area.

“They’re interested in parking and riding the Streetcar into downtown to avoid parking costs and bus fares,” Patterson said. “Our primary concern is making sure our businesses have parking available for customers. City Market Square has always been designated for customer parking only, but now the policy is going to be actively enforced.”

It’s not just the streetcar that will be pulling people into the River Market. Patterson said, “new businesses and services, residential developments, increased tourism, shopping and dining, local events and the largest year-round Farmers’ Market in the region” is bringing in more people to the area.

“So in concert with the introduction of the streetcar, the time is simply right to actively enforce parking policy inside City Market Square,” Patterson said.

Patterson also wanted people to know this enforcement is just in regards to the City Market Square lot, which is located at inside the market. She said all outer lots are for customers, City Market tenants and everyone else in area.

“There have been a lot of conversations happening with all property owners that have parking lots they own and manage throughout the whole streetcar construction area in anticipation of the start of service,” Patterson said. “The city’s Street Department did an assessment of the River Market District and has now standardized all on-street parking to 2-hour limits.”

She also noted that the city has received a grant for a parking audit survey that will be done this coming Fall, as a review of parking in the River Market District, along with the overall effects of the streetcar as it applies to parking.

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