Topeka brings back 2-hour cap on Kansas Ave. parking

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Downtown parking has been a headache for Luis Fernando Munoz's restaurant at 7th and Kansas Avenue as long as he can remember.

"It tremendously affects our business. Other than there's not enough parking there's not enough time. The 20 years that we've been here the parking has only gotten worse," said Munoz, owner of Lapita's Mexican Restaurant.

While construction created several road blocks through downtown Topeka, Munoz saw one plus side.

"They really were lenient for awhile they didn't give us a ticket for quite some time," said Munoz.

Topeka Public Works warns those leniencies will end Thursday. Crews will begin enforcing the 2-hour parking along South Kansas Avenue between 6th and 10th.

It's an eight dollar fine if you stay longer. It's an extra 15 bucks for each additional hour.

"Nothing's changing except the city's going to re-enforce the parking ordinances because construction is now finished," explained Downtown Topeka Inc Director Vince Frye.

The city of Topeka says there are other options- the 7 parking garages through downtown cost $1 per hour.

"For people that are going to be here longer than two hours, we have lots of parking in the parking garages. They're very inexpensive and a lot of the merchants have vouchers that allow for free parking," said Frye.

The city did away with the meters along Kansas Avenue and also recently bagged the meters that line the side streets between Jackson and Quincy hoping to save visitors the extra change, but some locals still aren't convinced that's the best option.

"It's frustrating. I know that there's been times that I've gone out of town like to Lawrence and it dictates how long I can stay there in a certain space," said one Topekan.

Crews will come around once each hour and record the license plate number to keep track of the cars. Two hours is total time. The clock doesn't start over if you move you car one spot to another on the same day.