Pay-to-park system baffles Wash. Park visitors

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by Keely Chalmers, KGW Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on June 18, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 18 at 8:57 PM

PORTLAND -- It’s been five months, but the new pay-to-park system in Washington Park is still confusing some park visitors.

The stations were installed around the park in January. That includes the Oregon Zoo parking lot.

More: Parking meters coming to Wash. Park, Zoo

But even though they resemble the pay stations you see in downtown Portland, they don’t operate the same way.

The biggest difference is that when you park in a numbered space, you need to remember that number and punch it into the kiosk.

Here's a tip to help you remember it: If you have a smart phone, take a picture of your space number.

Another big question we heard:  What if you pay to park at the zoo but then you want to move your car down to the Rose Garden or playground, do you have to pay again?

The answer is, yes. But you can keep you car in the same space as long as you want and add parking time at any pay station in the park.

“Which means it's a lot smarter to take the shuttle or walk or to bike and leave your car in the space. What you’re paying for is the real estate,” explained Mark Ross with the Portland Parks and Recreation Bureau.

Another important reminder: The machines do not take dollar bills, just credit cards and coins.

So far, the pay-to-park system has raised $780.000. All of that money will be used in Washington Park for transportation and parking-related improvements.

“All the money that goes into these meters stays right here in the park to improve it and make it a better experience for the three million people who come here every year,” said Ross.

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