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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Zoo membership changes rankle regulars

The nickel-and-diming of Portland's residents under the Sam Rand City Council takes another victim, with the announcement by the Oregon Zoo that its members will now have to feed city parking meters that are going in in the facility's parking lot. The bad news is broken to the zoo faithful here.

Another change that has some members upset is a new limit on the number of children that can be included in a family membership. It's unclear from the zoo website what the new number is, but a reader with five kids says his membership days will end when his current card expires.

The worst part? Metro not only urinates on your shoes, but also tells you that it's raining:

The changes are based, in part, on direct feedback provided by members through an online survey that we conducted in June 2012. We combined the results from nearly 10,000 responses with a look inward on how we could streamline and improve the Oregon Zoo membership program as we moved forward.

We think this new structure will make it easier to understand the membership categories and benefits associated with each level, and let members to take advantage of the benefits they said that they value the most.

It's sort of like Tri-Met bus fares: "You pay more, and you like it, because it's simpler that way. Jim Middaugh took a survey, and you asked for this." And so goes another little slice out of Portlandia's rapidly shrinking livability pie.

Comments (25)

You can follow this guy to the Zoo, he's got it all in covered.


Just another Metro "thank you for approving the $125 levy" in 2008.

How many other avenues will we pay for them to think about and implement to pick pocket us?

Housecleaning? We need a government cleaning. Not elimination because that would take our say out of the picture entirely. It does look like that is what corporations are waiting in the wings for, but as long as too many of our elected officials are dancing with them, no need to put the final nail on the coffin, just keep that coffin dressed as democracy.

Omsi will be next, then after the school bond passes, parking meters at all school parking lots. Maybe parking meters in your personal driveway.

Meters and Machines every where we turn, and more to go.

And so goes another little slice of livability out of Portlandia's rapidly shrinking livability pie.

Slices here and there until what is left are crumbs!

It just means Washington Park visitors will drive to Sunset Transit Center, park there for free, and take MAX either using their TriMet pass (but they still drove, instead of using TriMet from their home), or just not pay to ride MAX and TriMet gets stuck with the bill.

However, it looks good to boost TriMet's ridership numbers!

I wonder how many others, like myself, have not renewed their Family (or above) memberships in the last few years?

1st, they took away the free Thursday concerts. Then, the free Wednesday concerts, reduced to two a year instead of 8-10.

It used to get you a lot of freebies and discounts, not so much anymore. And this was in the era of them wildly overspending on their construction projects, like Stellars Cove.

It makes me wonder where all that bond money has gone. Consultants,maybe? I haven't seen any announcement on that new off campus elephant reserve that was one of the big issues in the bond.

Figure on about $100/day for Mom and Dad to take 2-3 kids to the Zoo and pay retial at the gate.

Phil is right. OMSI will be next. What better way to boost streetcar ridership than to make parking downright unbearable?

Metro is outta control...so they got their 2008 levy passed and now this? Wow. What a waste. Feed Metro to the lions-that'll save some bucks.

But K.W.: Think of the poor Lions... they didnt do anything to justify upsetting their diet so much.

Another good reason to boycott Metro's Zoo. Check out Portland's Japanese Garden in all four seasons instead.

Does this mean they'll be installing meters at every public park next?

PBOT already once said we had no right to park cars on their streets. Perhaps we should be grateful they don't file trespassing charges against us for being here.

All governmental agencies and those receiving funding from same shall include the following dictum in their operating procedures manual:

1. Cars are bad
2. Your agency is hereby encouraged to take any steps to discourage automobile travel by all means possible. These can include:
a) Make auto use expensive
b) Make auto travel frustrating
c) Make auto use time consuming
d) Make auto use inconvenient
e) Make auto use the least attractive alternative
f) Make auto use impractical
g) Encourage ANY alternative to use of cars by employees, customers, staff or visitors regarless of cost

Mojo, the Japanese Garden is beautiful in all four seasons, but the City plans to put parking meters over there also.

Metro must only want the occasional out-of-town visitor to visit the zoo or the Japanese Gardens from here on.

Does this mean they'll make the damn parking spaces bigger?* Try getting a baby into a carseat when you can only open the door an inch without banging the car next to you.

*That was rhetorical and sacastic. I'm sure they won't cut down on their parking revenue.

It's actually Metro's doing: 15 years ago Metro borrowed $5 million on bonds and contributed it toward the cost of building the Zoo TriMet station, promising to repay the bonds with the parking revenues from the Zoo parking lot. Metro operates the Zoo and leases the parking lot from the City, so it could charge for parking if it wished. Metro installed the infrastructure to charge for parking, but never bothered collecting. Metro's lease doesn't expire until 2014. The deal is that if Metro gives the parking lot back to the City so that the City can charge for parking, the City will go along with Metro's expansion plans for the Zoo.

Metro must only want the occasional out-of-town visitor to visit the zoo or the Japanese Gardens from here on.

Or only for those who can afford to go.

I have stated before that with higher taxes coming down the pike, bonds for this and that, water rates increasing, being pick pocketed left and right, leaves very little discretionary funds to support our local community, small businesses, and in addition, take note, our food costs are rising.

I thought we were supposed to save our farmland, we used to grow food on that land, now I see street trees planted on our farmland instead, and we are importing food from all places, China. More folly as a result of Metro dictates!

OMSI will be next. What better way to boost streetcar ridership than to make parking downright unbearable?

OMSI already charges for parking, $3.00. The only difference is that OMSI owns its own parking lot (thanks to Oregon electric utility ratepayers) and can do whatever they want. Their parking lot is also more in line with their capacity, and they don't have to share it with other entities.

Thanks, Isaac -- I feared as much. The City of The Damned....go by metered unit!

not another dime

Portland: The Twee Boutique Village for BoBo's with More Money than Brains. Please do not press your nose against the glass, we'll have to charge you an acute boutique upkeep fee. Kids Discouraged. Heck, everybody discouraged... just send money.

I'm still cheesed about OMSI moving away from the Zoo. It was just perfect there. So many great memories, and the new location doesn't feel special to me.

Stuck in the past? Sure, but they took on some heavy debt building the new joint. That's the kind of mentality we're dealing with here.

Let's not forget their recent ham-fisted manipulation of the climate debate, that was silly and unnecessary. They do some good work, but I'm not motivated to patronize.

The Zoo is another place that I used to go, but never seem to get to anymore. Cost has something to do with it. Closest I get is the Arboretum (thankfully still free).

I wonder where all of this money really goes.

"OMSI already charges for parking, $3.00."

OMSI charges non-members but not members. The Zoo already charges non-members as well. They ask non-members how they arrived, if you say you drove they add on a parking fee. If you say you max or bike, they don't. The issue is that they are now going to charge members for parking as well AND are also significantly raise membership rates as well. This is on top of the levy from a few years ago.

Bureaucratic greed.

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