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Zilker Will Soon Sport Sparkling New Meters

Paying to park at the park

The city's Parks & Recreation Department caused a bit of consternation last week when it announced it would begin installing meters ("automated pay stations") in parking areas near Zilker Park's great lawn.

It's not as bad as it sounds, at least according to the Austin Monitor, one of the many local media outlets that reported the story. The website's Elizabeth Pagano talked to Parks & Rec's general manager, who said the city has always had authority to charge for parking in those areas. It has done only sporadically, he said, because of staffing and traffic issues caused by having a single collection point for different areas.

Most notably affected will be visitors parking on the south lot at Barton Springs pool or at the Great Lawn, reports the Monitor.

Compared to the Great Dog Park Reduction and other festival-related controversies at Zilker Park/Auditorium Shores in recent years, this seems like a minor issue. Expect some outrage nevertheless.