Mission task force unanimous in recommending parking limits for rebuilt Johnson Drive

New parking areas were poured this week along Johnson Drive's north side.
New parking areas will be part of the rebuilt Johnson Drive.

A group charged with the task of recommending how parking will be regulated on the newly rebuilt Johnson Drive in Mission made a set of unanimous recommendations to the city council Wednesday night. Among the nine recommendations is a proposal to limit parking along the street to two hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Task force member Juan Swart told the council that the biggest challenge on Johnson Drive is long-term parking and the “biggest culprits” are workers and employers of Johnson Drive businesses. The goal of the two-hour limit is to get at the real problem of employees, task force chair Dave Shepard said.

Rather than constant enforcement, Swart said, the group recommends reacting only to complaints and then sending an officer to mark the tires, essentially giving the violator an additional two hours to move the car. Another recommendation is that the city and the Parking Task Force write a joint letter to tenants and property owners asking them to direct employees not to park on the street.

The task force said city lots near Johnson Drive are “deteriorated and unwelcoming to visitors.” It said the city should commit to making investments in repairing those lots. It also said those lots are not easy to identify. Bob Hartman, another task force member, said the group met eight times since June and toured other downtown areas, such as Overland Park and Brookside, to get a sense of best practices for parking regulation. Johnson Drive is scheduled for completion next month.

The full recommendations of the group:

  • The Task Force finds that long-term parking on Johnson Drive and in other public
    parking areas, particularly by local area business owners and their employees, is
    detrimental to the success of the Downtown Area. The Task Force recommends that
    the City adopt a two-hour parking limit for all public parking fronting Johnson
    Drive in the Downtown Area, effective Monday through Saturday, from 8:00 a.m.
    to 6:00 p.m.This should initially be enforced on a complaint basis, with measures
    escalating over time as needed.
  • The City should, in cooperation with the members of the Parking Task Force, write a
    joint letter to tenants and property owners in the Downtown Area requesting that they
    direct employees to not park on Johnson Drive, and informing them of new parking
    regulations and existing long-term parking locations in the Downtown Area.
  • While the City already owns property utilized for parking within the Downtown
    Area, south of Johnson Drive, these lots are deteriorated and unwelcoming to visitors. The City should commit to making additional investments in these lots. The Task Force identifies the need for restriping in all three existing lots, as well as seal coating,
    grading, grass seeding, additional lighting as feasible, and additional sidewalk access
    in the area surrounding the existing municipal parking lot east of Outlook Street.
  • The City-owned lots are not easily found and recognized as public parking by visitors
    to the district.The City should invest in monument signs and other wayfinding
    devices necessary to promote the use of these lots by visitors and employees.The lots
    should also be given unique names to promote recognition.
  • The City should invest in creating a downtown brochure, including a business
    directory and a map of areas acceptable for customers and employees to park within
    the Downtown Area.
  • The City should prioritize Dearborn Street north of Johnson Drive in the City’s
    annual Street Maintenance Program. In the year it is programmed, the City should
    attempt to create parallel parking stalls on the east side of the street.
  • The City should, in the near future, approach the owners of property currently
    underutilized, vacant, and/or for sale within the district and attempt to gain leased
    access, right of way, or other additional parking capacity before these properties are
    occupied or repurposed.
  • The City should be prepared to continue to make investments in additional parking
    capacity in the Downtown Area, and should, as they arise, consider opportunities to
    purchase additional land and property rights for future use as parking, pedestrian
    access, or other public improvements to support the Downtown Area.
  • The Task Force will reconvene approximately six months after the first of the
    recommendations are implemented to evaluate the success of these recommendations.