Parking Meters at Hiking Trailheads?

The Phoenix Parks Board meets next week to discuss a proposal to install parking meters in the parking areas of the city’s most popular hiking trailheads.

The idea of “fee-based parking” was approved by the Parks Board in 2010 but never implemented. Now, with a looming city budget deficit, the idea is being revived to bring in extra revenue.

Deputy Parks Director Ken Vonderscher says the proposal would be for meters at only three trailhead parking lots: Echo Canyon at Camelback Mountain, Piestewa Peak, and Pima Canyon at South Mountain.

“We have 37 others that range from moderately used to lightly used,” he says, adding that the cost of parking could sent some hikers to some of those lesser-used trails where parking will continue to be free. “To a certain extent, it spreads the usage out.”

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Phoenix scraps parking meters at hiking spots

Phoenix parks officials have abandoned a proposal to use parking meters to manage overcrowding at the city’s most popular hiking spots. The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department announced that it will no longer consider installing meters in parking areas at desert preserves such as Camelback Mountain.

Officials say hundreds of residents expressed opposition to the idea in the last several weeks. They say more than 60 spoke at a department board meeting. The parks department says it will continue to look for other ways to address the crowds and trail impact.

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