Want To Find Parking Downtown? Smart City Website Can Help

Feb 7, 2017

Kansas City, Missouri, has started sharing data collected from interactive kiosks along the streetcar route.

A website launched Tuesday can tell visitors to downtown how traffic is flowing and if parking is available.

“If I don’t have to search for more than five minutes for a parking spot, I can better enjoy my day during play time. I can make better use of my time while I’m going to meetings,” Chief Innovation Officer Bob Bennett says.

Chris Crosby of Xaqt, a company that develops Smart City technology, says the city’s strategy is forward-thinking.

“They’re not just looking this from a at how do we make Kansas City cool, but really how do we make this a better place to make this a better place to live work, and play?” Crosby says.

Bennett says in the future the city will use the data it collects to drive decision-making around streets, sewers and other city infrastructure.

The data could even be used to change bus routes if a big crowd needed to get downtown, like it did when the Royals won the World Series in 2015.

“Wouldn’t it be nice for us if we could better manage the traffic so we don’t have people parking in the middle of the highway?” Bennett says.

Bennett says the city wants to install more smart kiosks around along the Prospect MAX bus route so it can make comparisons across neighborhoods.

Elle Moxley covers Missouri schools and politics for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.