Transportation expert: ‘Sometimes it’s really useful to charge for parking’


When you’re in a rush, finding parking in downtown Wichita can sometimes be a hassle. 

There are three main types of parking: meter parking, pay lots and the most popular kind is free parking. 

“I think there should be some free parking, when I visit a government office or a city building,” said Robert Talbott, a Wichita resident.

“As businesses start to grow in Wichita, parking is going to become harder and harder to come by,” said Nick Kilby, a Wichita resident. “It’s going to get more expensive. And, I don’t want half my check going out to eat, being parking alone.”

But international transportation expert Jeffrey Tumlin told Wichitans Tuesday, sometimes paying for parking in areas like downtown is needed. 

“If a two-hour time limit though isn’t doing the trick, then yeah, sometimes it’s really useful to charge for parking,” he said. “But, the right price for parking is always the lowest price that helps to make sure there’s always one or two spaces empty at all times of day.”

Some drivers said they are not opposed. 

“It’s not that much and for the paid parking it’s a convenience,” said Talbott. “And, I think it helps provide the infrastructure and we need to pay for the parking.”

So how much are people willing to pay? 

“I like maybe two or three dollars,” said Mark Kilby, a Wichita resident. “Two or three dollars unlimited or maybe 25 cents an hour,” said his son Nick Kilby.

“I don’t want to pay more than I currently am with the metered spots,” said Andrew Rowe, a Wichita resident.

But, sometimes paying for that spot can also be a challenge.

“It’s a hassle to deal with the quarters and coins and honestly it’s just something I’ve gotten used to,” said Rowe.

It’s technology Tumlin says is decades behind. 

“It might be time for Wichita to use modern technology that allows people to pay with their phone, to pay with a credit card, to have their phone text them if they want to add more time to the meter,” he said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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