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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Coming soon to the Portland parks: parking meters

Sometimes I think the government of this town has a grotesquely distorted concept of what a "park" is. They've charged for parking down at Willamette Park in the past, but every day, all year long? Come on, Nick Fish -- shape that bureau up and tell them to knock it off with this kind of shinola. Parks are for people to enjoy. They don't make money! Live with it.

Comments (18)

Why don't they have fee of $10 per pound of dog poop?

I'd pay money to see one of the City's doo-gooder planning school interns out there with green eye shades, a scale, and a receipt book.

I don't have a problem with this in the summer because they have charged for parking for years from Memorial Day to Labor Day and had contract security guards posted to accept payment which had to be spendy (but a case could be made now that the city is taking away jobs!), but to charge the rest of the year is STUPID! In the summer the lots can fill up quick on the weekends with boaters but during the rest of the year the park is really quiet, especially on weekdays. More people will just do what many already do in the summer, park up in the neighborhood and walk in...which impacts an already busy neighborhood.

Zari Santer must be removed from the Parks Director post now, she is bent on commercializing the parks. Portland needs parks leadership that realizes what Parks really mean to the community.

This is awesome! I'd love for Parks to do this in Washington Park, as well.

Big mistake for the neighborhood. Southwest NA (formerly Corbett/Terwilliger/Lair Hill NA) opposed charging for parking in the Willamette Park. They testified that it would cause boaters with their trailers to park in the neighborhood as well as general park users. It did.

Another issue is that all parking revenue was to go to the park. What little accounting that sometimes happened in the past showed that it didn't.

And where are the park improvements? The docks are in disrepair, many of the picnic tables are in shambles, field drainage problems are numerous, the toilets are usually very filthy, the paved walking trails are rough and haven't been paved in over 35 years, and even the light poles are rusting away at the bottoms.

I agree with Jack. Here we have a Park's Bureau that even spends taxpayer dollars to advertise to use your parks, then charges you for it and doesn't maintain its parks.

In Salem, the city just reopened River Rd Park after a nearly 2 year overhaul. Magnificent. BTW, lots of FREE parking too.

Salem ain't all bad after all.

It will be cheaper to park a pickup with a boat trailer all day than a Mini-Cooper. Foul! Foul! Foul!

This is nothing. Ever checked out what they charge to reserve a group picnic site?

I have been saying this, or something like it, for several years now.

Grimwad is gone, now Santer must go.

After that, all political appointee positions should be eliminated. If the function really needs doing, then make it a merit-based civil service job.

We don't need any more 'pay-offs' for enterprising 'journalists'.

This is nothing. Ever checked out what they charge to reserve a group picnic site?

Oh. My. God. Out of boredom, I just perused that link.

You have to have a flipping stack of permits to have a group picnic in a park in this city ?

Add up all those fees listed therein, see what you get.

Guess we got lucky all those times we BBQd in Alberta Park. I've gotta get out of this insane, corrupt Commie hellhole.

You have to admit that this is brilliant...if the idea is to keep people away. Putting in the new meters has to be a lot cheaper than essential maintenance to the park, and I'm amazed that nobody's thought about putting in turnstyles and for pedestrians. (As with Tri-Met, it's not about collecting fees from responsible citizens: the real money is in tracking down the people who can't find an operational ticket machine and hitting them with fines.)

You can't have a bloated staff spending millions on crap every day without some way to pay for it all.

Two things stop me from visiting parks I like. Parking fees and day use fees. The day they go live is the day I stop going.

Jack, you're right about the boating fee vs. car fee. Foul indeed!

Willamette Park is open from 5 am to 10 pm so really poor folks who can't find a parking spot in the neighborhood could always have their picnic in the dawn's early light (5 am to 9 am) or boat in the dark (5 pm to 10 pm).

Currently parking fees are charged from 7 am to 7 pm so Pollyanna-types could actually claim that the new parking hours are an improvement.


For years I've complained about business parking in Willamette Park. As a resident of the area, if I wanted to go put my kayak in the river, I have to pay, but the local businesses manage to park all year for free.

Any weekday I've counted anywhere from 50 - 100 cars, no one in the park, and few, if any boat trailers. Furthermore, the cars were all parked on the West side of the parking lot where their drivers park, and immediately walk out toward MacAdam, briefcase in hand.

All these business users would have to do is show up early enough to beat the kiosk attendant, and presto, free parking.

The city has long been tacitly subsidizing this commercial parking for years. I don't give the city credit for actually responding to this problem, but if the meters are intended to prevent commercial parking, it's a typical Portland Ham-handed approach.

How much do you want to bet the local businesses manage a deal?

"After that, all political appointee positions should be eliminated. If the function really needs doing, then make it a merit-based civil service job."

The problem is that all these jobs used to be "merit-based civil service". Then three/four years ago at the urging of Saltzman and company the voters made them all political appointees. Bingo Chicago type government in one step.

I've gotta get out of this insane, corrupt Commie hellhole

Before you leave, perhaps you would like to donate a few benches or drinking fountains?

$3000 dollars for a 6 ft bench (adopt a bench program brought to you by your parks department) is highway robbery! Then, if you add a wrought iron rose it's $5000, is disgusting.

It must be the $1500 dollars that the Parks Department adds for "administration". Makes sense after $2.6 Million is the Park's "administrative costs" to manage the building of the SoWhat Poodle Park.

Who will be enforcing the new parking meters? The bloated "parking enforcement" staff from PDOT or the wasteful, unneeded Park Rangers from parks?

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