With the sun shining on Thursday it was a very busy day at the Oregon Zoo, where you pay $4 to park with your $10.50 adult admission.
Oregon Zoo members who pay $114 a year for a family have enjoyed parking free, but meters being considered by the City would put an end to the perk.
“It would be a bummer to have to pay for parking and the meters would cause you to take more time getting the kids into the zoo,” remarked Zoo Member Ashley Marvin.
Kim Smith, the Director of the Oregon Zoo, says the meters would be more efficient and the revenues would go toward improvements.
“We’ve been working for two years on how to improve parking for all visitors to Washington Park.” Smith points out the huge lot, which accommodates up to a thousand cars, is not owned by the Zoo.
It’s city property maintained by the Portland Parks and Rec Department.
In addition to the Oregon Zoo, the lot services The Children’s Museum, the Forestry Center and Hoyt Arboretum.
“If it will help with the traffic and getting a parking spot, then I’m all for it,” commented Zoo Member Tiffani Saxton. The zoo notified members this week about the possible parking change so they wouldn’t be caught off guard.
The Portland Parks and Rec Department said if the City Council approves the meters this fall they could be up and running by March.
“We hope our members recognize the Zoo is more than parking," Smith said. "Our admission and parking rates are below average in the region and nationally. We’re still a screaming deal for the community.”