Parking meters at Zilker Park aim to reduce traffic

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — A friendly game for everyone at Zilker Park.

“We were just hanging out, getting some sun, it’s so nice.”

The Great Lawn looks about the same, full of people. It’s the parking lots that have a new look.

Thirty automated pay stations have been installed to collect parking fees. Before, employees would set up booths at the park entrance to collect your $5. The new meters allow park-goers to enter and pay at a kiosk rather than waiting at the entrance, which has led to traffic on Barton Springs Road.

“It wasn’t super congested at all, if anything, the park could’ve had a lot more people,” said Kimbyrle Bruan, who drove to Zilker Park on Saturday.

In addition to reducing traffic, the city hopes to decrease operating expenses by eliminating the need to have between 12 and 15 employees covering all entrances to the park. Now only two staff members will be employed to monitor and enforce the parking fees.

The pay stations keep on coming, in a city that’s quickly growing. More meters were recently put in around the University of Texas’ West Campus neighborhood.

“Around the city is fine, like as long as I can park somewhere, I don’t mind paying whatever fees there are,” said Kit Hernly, who also drove to Zilker Park.

Parking enforcement starts March 5th and lasts through Labor Day. Payment for parking will be enforced from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends, holidays, and for special events.

Fees will also be collected at the north and south Barton Springs Pool lots.

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