Downtown Wichita parking plan at odds with revitalization goals

Currently, Wichita is struggling to find enough parking spots downtown to meet the demand expected to be created by the new Intrust Bank Arena. It’s been a contentious issue, with many Wichitans skeptical of the city’s ability to supply enough parking at prices that people are willing to pay for.

But did you know that there is likely to be fewer parking spots in downtown Wichita if the firm likely to lead downtown revitalization planning has its way?

Here are a few excerpts from the proposal submitted by Goody Clancy, the firm the city is likely to choose to lead the planning process:

Because transit, walking and biking will be viable options, less parking will be needed. … Parking policy will also unlock opportunity to redevelop parking lots … The effects of visionary choices such as increasing downtown residential development, expanding transit service, and constraining parking supplies will be investigated. … A sound and coordinated approach, encompassing economics, engineering and urban design, is needed to free up existing parking lots for redevelopment. (emphasis added)

I wonder: do city leaders know that their herculean effort to develop more parking downtown is an obstacle to downtown Wichita revitalization?

3 Comments

  • Yes if biking, walking and transit are used more by myself and others than those who utilize those methods don’t have to drive and park their cars, thus less parking – rather fundamental, correct? A parking lot generates very little in taxes and has you and others have said on more than one occasion we need to increase the tax base in downtown. That is done by developing property. Progress produces challenges and I think that we are all set to accept those challenges and conquer them as they arise.

  • I don’t think you’ll ever find where I’ve said we need to increase the tax base. I’m against government taxation and spending. I’ve criticized some politicians for saying they want to increase the tax base at the same time they offer exemptions. That’s different. That’s calling them out on their inconsistencies.

    Larry, what do you have against people deciding freely where they want to live and invest?

  • Bob,
    My comment on increasing tax base was in reference to taking buildings or lots paying little or no tax and developing them into viable assets that pay taxes just the same as the rest of the property owners. I have nothing against people deciding where they want to live and invest. I have one of the largest housing units in the downtown core (250 Douglas Place with 143 apartment units – former Holiday Inn), with a line of people waiting to get in. But as Mr. Witt pointed out it is not a level playing field and we need all neighborhoods to be growing and productive in order to compete in the arena of attracting jobs to our city.

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