Waldo residents frustrated with illegal parking and lack of open spots in popular KC neighborhood

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- People living in Waldo are concerned over what they call a growing parking problem.

Neighbors told FOX4 outsiders are not only parking illegally in their neighborhood but are also taking spots in front of their homes.

Braum Winjnands, who lives near 75th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, said part of the problem is that drivers are parking illegally during peak travel times.

"After 4 o'clock, it gets really busy," Winjnands said, pointing toward the intersection of 75th and Wornall. "When people park along here you get like a bottleneck situation. It’s like one long line of traffic, and when that happens, you can’t pull out of your driveway."

Neighbors said the increasing popularity of the area's restaurants and bars is a double-edged sword.

"Every day and every night, drivers park across our driveways, and it’s very inconvenient," Maureen Hardy said. "There are so many bars in Waldo now that the parking lots are pretty much taken up, and there are not enough as it is."

Hardy and her husband have lived at their home on Pennsylvania Avenue for 25 years. She doesn't blame the businesses entirely for the parking problem.

"I have worked with city hall and council members, but they say there is nothing they can do about it, so we just dropped it," Hardy said.

Hardy serves on the board of directors for the Ward Parkway Homes Association. She said she tried petitioning the city to approve residential parking permits on her street about two months ago but was denied.

"That’s what we’d really like to have, where you pay so much for parking tickets, but it’s really hard to get," Hardy said. "We all had driveways, so they said it doesn’t work because you can park there."

But neighbors said accessing their driveways is sometimes an issue.

"Drivers sometimes don’t obey the parking signs and can encroach on people’s driveways sometimes, and we have to deal with that," Brad Walsh said.

Walsh, who also lives on Pennsylvania Avenue, said he moved to Waldo 10 years ago because the area was popular. He admits finding parking can be challenging, but he's learned how to deal with it.

"If I know I’m going to be having friends over, we tend to put our cars on the street as soon as we get home from work and that allows us to open up our driveway so company can find an easy convenient place for them to park," Walsh said.

Many neighbors FOX4 talked to said that they're not afraid to call parking enforcement officers when drivers block their driveways or park illegally in the streets.

However, they said by the time the officers arrive, it's sometimes too late.

"We know other things are bigger emergencies, so they’ll sometimes be two hours late, and the cars will be gone by then," Hardy said. "We all pay our real estate taxes on our block, and we should have a place to park."

" I think they’re letting it go because it’s almost unenforceable," Winjnands added.

Hardy is afraid if the parking issues continue, her family will have no choice but to leave the neighborhood they have called home for decades.

"It’s running people out of our neighborhood and probably will us someday soon," Hardy said. "We love the neighborhood, but you just got to have a place to park in front of your house or, at least, close to it."

FOX4 reached out to the city and was told the police department handles parking enforcement issues. No one from the department was available for an interview Thursday. To report a traffic complaint, click here.