A few changes made to parking in downtown Kent, including lifting a time limit on one of downtown's more popular streets, seem to have gone unnoticed by drivers.
Motorists can park all day for free on Franklin Avenue from College Avenue south to Summit Street with a brief exception in early morning hours. The change from a two-hour limit to all-day is just one modification to downtown parking.
Previous restrictions to two-hour parking on South DePeyster Street from Erie Street south to S.R. 59 and on North Water Street north of Portage Street have been extended to three-hour limits.
Three-hour parking also was added to Gougler Avenue from West Main Street to Fairchild Avenue. And the city created guidelines for one-day, meeting and conference-specific parking passes.
Kent City Engineer Jim Bowling, a member of Kent's Parking Action Committee, said they made the changes to try and improve parking downtown both during and after redevelopment construction after hearing feedback from downtown business owners.
He said the changes seem to have gone unnoticed.
"What we're hoping to encourage is to get people who are going to park all day downtown to park" on Franklin Avenue, he said.
Lori Wemhoff, executive director of the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce, said in an email they've posted information on the parking changes on the KACC website.
But, as one of the city's distribution points, they continue to sell parking permits despite the free, all-day spaces on Franklin Avenue, Wemhoff said.
You can print the new parking maps with the changes made in June by clicking on the images attached to this story.
Mary Gilbert, executive director of Main Street Kent, said in an email she hasn't heard any feedback from businesses about the free, all-day parking on Franklin Avenue.
"But I have heard positive feedback on the three-hour parking and positive feedback on the one-day parking passes," Gilbert said.