The Austin Parks and Recreation Department will implement a new method for collecting Zilker Park entry fees beginning March 5.
The City will install up to 30 automated parking pay stations for parking areas within Zilker Park. This includes all parking areas surrounding the Great Lawn, as well as all lots south of Barton Springs Road including the north and south Barton Springs Pool lots.
Parking enforcement will only take place during the traditional charging period from the first weekend in March through Labor Day. Payment will only be required on weekends, holidays, and special events as is the current policy. There are no fee increases. Park users should experience less line queuing from roadways into the park.
Hours of enforcement will be from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM. This allows early morning swimmers to utilize Barton Springs Pool without a parking fee.
Pay stations will increase efficiency by:
* Reducing Traffic Congestion
The traffic configuration at Zilker Park has required staff to set up booths at the entrance of the park to collect fees. This, in turn, has caused traffic to back up onto Barton Springs Road creating an unsafe environment. By installing pay stations in the parking lots, drivers will be free to enter the park and pay at a kiosk.
* Reducing Operating Expenses
In order to cover all entrances to Zilker Park, the City usually needs between 12 and 15 employees per season. With pay stations, the City will need one staff member for monitoring and one for enforcement.