WICHITA — The city of Wichita is testing a new parking payment system at Century II, and so far, it’s not getting a stellar grade.
“This may not be the solution,” says John D’Angelo, the city’s director of arts and cultural services. “That’s why we call it a test.”
Particularly long lines for Music Theatre of Wichita this week had some people resorting to not paying instead of standing in long lines at one of four pay stations on the north end of the lot.
“We’re going to waive the enforcement of those for the rest of the weekend,” D’Angelo says. “We don’t want to keep people out in the heat. The lines for whatever reason have gotten really long.”
Part of the problem is one of the machines is malfunctioning, he says. The problem isn’t limited to this week, though.
“To be honest with you, no,” D’Angelo says. “With Music Theatre, we’re seeing a larger scale of that happening.”
Previously, Century II visitors had to pay at one of 325 parking meters at each parking spot. Those are still there, but they’re not in use while the new system is tested.
Testing began in May and will be done in the middle of July.
“We’re looking at ways to improve the situation,” D’Angelo says. “And you know, we’ve learned a lot from it. Not all good, but some bad.”
He says there probably need to be more pay stations, including one inside the building. He says there also need to be covered areas at the stations.
D’Angelo says it would be nice for people to be able to make cellphone payments.
“We would probably want to explore that as well,” he says. “So there’s some other options that we’re going to look at.”
D’Angelo says it’s possible the city may decide to test another payment method as well.
He says there are labor savings with switching systems, and he says pay options could be better for users who might prefer to pay with a credit card instead of cash.
Though he calls problems associated with the test system “unfortunate,” D’Angelo says, “We’ve learned a lot.”