WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — On Tuesday, the Wichita City Council approved a parking and multimodal plan, but nothing is changing as of right now.

This plan will help the City determine how it manages its over 8,000 downtown parking spaces.

“I think it is going to help modernize Wichita’s downtown,” said Wichita City Councilman Brandon Johnson.

If you visit downtown Wichita, there is a chance you might pay to park, but the City is facing some issues with its parking operations.

“The City had spent all of this taxpayer money and other funding on purchasing, maintaining, building, these assets,” said Walker Consultants Senior Consultant Mallory Baker.

Walker Consultants helped put the plan together.

It found that the current parking situation isn’t ideal.

“There are areas that don’t have a whole lot of demand, and there are other hub areas that have a lot of parking demand,” said Johnson.

From the spots available to the current meters used to pay.

“It is almost hit or miss if you are going to find one with a meter, find one with a working meter, and also, are you going to have to continue to go back out and feed that meter,” said Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple.

Walker Consultants shared only two employees enforce parking in Wichita.

Its plan showed updates are needed for the technology and rates, but some are concerned if rates are too high and an app is the only way to pay, fewer people will visit downtown.

“It is going to be key for us to figure out something that is accessible for everyone. Maybe there is a machine that takes both cash and an app that is something we will have to work through. But I think those concerns are legitimate and something we need to consider,” said Johnson.

“This is about increasing choice, and what this plan does is it supports the City in thinking about those decisions so they can make good ones in the future,” said Baker.

Now that the parking plan is approved, the City is planning on collecting data on items such as rates and parking spots available.

Parking rates could go up to help make the parking fund more sustainable. City representatives said the fund is not self-sustaining right now.

“So we can actually manage our parking without having to dip into other funds that we use for police and fire, for example,” said Mayor Whipple.

The City will also look at what spots may or may not need meters.

“No rate changes, no technology changes, those need to be studied further. We might even have parts of the city that have parking meters today that will actually not have parking meters in the future because demand doesn’t support it,” said Baker.

“This will allow us to hopefully to strike that balance to make that we are doing what needs to be done for our small business community so they can continue to have customers come in and out while also reserving some of that longer-term parking for people who are working downtown,” said Mayor Whipple.

Again, Tuesday’s decision did not make any changes. The council will continue to look over data and then decide on changing certain needs such as rates or technology.