Unsafe parking conditions in the city’s downtown business districts have spun out of control, prompting increased ticketing, said Matt Staub. The ParkMobile app can reduce such headaches for motorists searching for an open spot along busy Kansas City streets.
“People are kind of making up their own parking spaces, parking in ‘no-parking’ zones — all of those exist for a reason, they’re for visibility or safety concerns,” said Staub, a representative on the Parking Policy Review Board for Kansas City, Missouri. “The missing piece is actually enforcement.”
Until recently, Kansas Citians could park illegally — such as overstaying one- to three-hour time limits — without fear of enforcement, and avoiding pricey parking spots in paid lots or garages, he said. But ramped-up ticketing of illegal parkers in the downtown and Crossroads areas comes with added inconvenience for motorists who’ve grown accustomed to lax accountability, Staub said.
Drivers needn’t have a pocketful of quarters to avoid the watchful eye of meter readers, he said. KCMO has implemented a smart city tech solution: the ParkMobile app, which allows motorists to pay their meters through the smartphone app and extend their parking time, as needed.
“The biggest challenge with paying the meter is the actual paying the meter part. I don’t think most people care about paying a dollar or two, it’s just a pain in the butt,” he said. “ParkMobile is just one more option — as well as credit card-capable meters, which we are working on — but ParkMobile is a nice thing because if you don’t have quarters in your car, as long as you have your phone you can pay for parking.”