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Neighbors in KCMO's Westside neighborhood say large events create parking nightmares

Concern growing for neighbors as NFL Draft approaches
Posted at 3:56 PM, Apr 20, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Westside neighborhood in Kansas City is about a fifteen-minute walk to Union Station.

It’s also just outside of the controlled boundaries for the NFL Draft.

Just like the Chiefs Super Bowl victory parade, it’s likely people will park there for other big events.

“Like I said, I love to see it grow, but they are talking a downtown baseball stadium, where are they going to park?” said Lucas Orozco, who lives in the neighborhood.

Orozco has watched Kansas City grow.

“I’ve been here for 33 years, my family’s been here longer,” Orozco said.

He says he and his neighbors along West 27th feel like they're being forgotten about.

“As far as these big events going on now and all of that, we are kind of being used as a parking lot,” he said.

He says with the parades, it’s busy streets, stop and go, and constant traffic.

“This was full, all that was full,” Orozco said, as he pointed to streets in his neighborhood. “I can see all the people walking up and down. It’s cool for the city, I’m not knocking it, but we just have to be ready.”

Ring doorbell cameras picked up his neighbor's car being hit twice during the parade.

“She just parked in front of her house,” he said. “People that live here are afraid to leave their homes and attend the events because they’ll lose their spot."

Strangers parked in driveways and then were towed, according to Orozco.

So, they too are preparing for the expected 300,000 NFL Draft visitors.

“I feel like it is a big test, and we are the guinea pigs honestly — this community is the guinea pigs,” Orozco said.

Martin Guerra, who also lives in the neighborhood, said the city needs to do more to take care of neighbors.

“We need a little consideration for the people who live here,” Guerra said.

Guerra says the city should look at more work to prepare and protect the block.

“Parking becomes a nightmare. You can’t leave your house, you’re trapped all day," Guerra said. "If you leave, there’s no place for you to park when you come back, or you park blocks away and walk home, it’s pretty much an inconvenience.”

These neighbors say they’re out of options.

“We did try to get a permit for blocking off the streets and they wouldn’t allow it because of the big event,” Orozco said.

In the future, they’d like to see permanent permitted parking like the Volker neighborhood

“So, people who aren’t in the community can only park a couple of hours, things like that, as big as we are getting yeah, we definitely need something," Orozco said.

KSHB 41 reached out to the City of KCMO and city council leaders to see how they’re getting involved. This story will be updated if a response is recevied.