Street parking in downtown Kansas City

Nothing adds a sour end to a day on the town like coming back to a parking ticket — but a little bit of planning can help you stay on the right side of Park KC.

A no parking sign, an "paid parking 7 days a week" sign, and a 2-hour Park KC sign, all on one signpost in River Market.

Everything you need to know is right here — if you know how to read it. | Photo by KCtoday team

The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and motorists are circling the metro looking for somewhere to park.

In a car-dependent city like KC, it’s worth refreshing your memory on street parking regulations — otherwise you may find a surprise from Park KC between your wiper and your windshield.

Why paid parking?

According to Park KC, turnover is the real reason for paid spots — so street parking is best suited for short visits. (Although overnight parking is allowed at street parking spots, just FYI.)

Noticed an increase in Park KC signage over the last few months? It’s not in your head: the city is standardizing paid parking in popular areas like River Market + the Plaza. Meaning, your super secret “free” parking spots may not be so secret anymore.

How do you read the signs?

Wherever you park, you’ll want to look for three pieces of information:

  • Time limit — some spots let you stay longer at higher rates
  • Time range — e.g., “8 a.m.-5 p.m.,” “MON-FRI” (Parking is unlimited outside of the listed range.)
  • Parking zone number

Zone numbers only apply if you’re using the Park KC app. The app lets you pay online, tracks your time, and lets you add more time remotely.

Pro tip: download the app now. Otherwise you may realize it’s not on your phone, forget about it, and return from lunch with a citation.

Make a plan to park

Whether you’re reserving a spot ahead of a major event or snagging a free weekend spot at the 7th + Main lot on the Streetcar line, a little bit of legwork saves you and other motorists a lot of trouble.

In summary: read the signs, download the app, and plan to walk a little. Otherwise my — I mean, uh, your — delicious lunch at Milwaukee Deli will come with a $25 tip to public works.