PORTLAND – As of Friday, all visitors to Washington Park, including the Oregon Zoo, Portland Children’s Museum and World Forestry Center, have to pay to park there.
Previously, only non-members have to pay the parking fees.
Portland City Council approved the deal in 2012, hoping the fees would help raise $2 million dollars a year for roads, sidewalks and other improvements in the area.
Background: Parking meters coming to Wash. Park, zoo
“The parking revenues will fund a whole collaborative system of access, parking improvements, security improvements for people with disabilities, cyclists, drivers, pedestrians, and a new, park-wide master plan” said Portland Parks and Recreation spokesman Mark Ross.
Ross unveiled the new parking meters last month and explained that visitors can park free for 30 minutes. Any longer than that will cost $1.60 per hour or $4 for the whole day.
Paid parking is in designated areas only. Many trail heads are still free. Paid parking hours are 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. around the Oregon Zoo and Children’s Museum, and 9:30 a.m. 5 p.m. from the Hoyt Arboretum north to the International Rose Test Gardens.
On Wednesday, a spokesman announced that the zoo nearly set a record in 2013 with 1,625,296 visits, just shy of the 1,645,843 visits in 2010.