While agreeing that paying for automobile parking along the Parkway makes sense to the County in terms of their shortage of funding—for reasons as much connected with lack of creative management as with self-inflicted revenue shortages over the years—suggesting that those who walk or bike to the Parkway should be paying to use the Parkway, as this article in the Sacramento Bee does, is not something we agree with.
Paying for parking to get closer to where you want to go is time honored in our country, but merely visiting without using parking spaces is not (think charging pedestrians to enter downtown) and residents already pay taxes to support the parks.
“Parking enforcement has been spotty lately along the American River Parkway – but that's about to change at two popular lots.
“Faced with a depleted budget, county parks officials have hired the Sacramento city code enforcement department to install pay parking machines this month in the Howe and Watt avenue parking lots.
“City code enforcement officers will patrol those lots to make sure parkway users pay the day-use parking fees. The city and county will divide ticket revenues.
“County officials say turning parking enforcement over to the city will allow the county's dwindling group of park rangers to spend more time patrolling, and possibly bring in more money for both local governments.
“The program at the Howe and Watt lots is expected to start on a test basis in two weeks, and be fully operational by June 1. The pay machines take cash and credit cards.
“If the machine system proves profitable, city and county officials say they may expand the system to parking lots in 16 county parks next year.
“The pay kiosks are sturdier versions of the green pay stations on downtown city streets. The city already has had success increasing parking revenue after installing the machines at Miller and Garcia Bend parks along the Sacramento River.”