Councilman’s Plan to End Fresno’s $5 Park Entry Fee Failed. Here’s Why. - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
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Councilman’s Plan to End Fresno’s $5 Park Entry Fee Failed. Here’s Why.

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Despite a vote to not charge for parking at regional parks where Storyland/Playland is located, the fee remains. (GV Wire/David Taub)
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Visitors to places like Storyland/Playland, the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, and Woodward Park will continue paying a $5 entry fee for vehicles.

More actually, since the kiosks only accept credit cards which charge an additional fee.

Councilman Miguel Arias wanted to eliminate those fees, calling it a “double tax” since city residents paid extra because of Measure P.

Even though the City Council approved the fee removal in a preliminary vote during the budget process, free parking never came to be.

It never made it to the final budget vote.

Arias Supported Free Parking

During budget hearings in June, Arias proposed waiving parking fees at the city’s regional parks — Roeding Park, Woodward Park, and the Regional Sports Complex — for two years, and backfilling with Measure P funds.

Arias told GV Wire that it would be unfair to charge when improvements are not there.

Parking kiosks were installed at the parks in 2021. They replaced staffed tollbooths at park entryways.

“What the administration brought to our attention was that the contract that the city had signed two years prior will require us to pay off all the hard equipment from vendor if we were to go away from the vendor,” Arias said.

In lieu of eliminating the parking fee, some of that money would be put into park programs, Arias said.

Arias says the three regional parks take in $1.7 million in parking fees a year.

City, Arias Still Working on Plan

The city says a change in fees is still in play.

“As part of the fee analysis PARCS (parks department) is working on, we are looking at the ability to lower parking and other fees for city of Fresno residents that could be offset with Measure P revenue,” Mayor Jerry Dyer spokeswoman Sontaya Rose said.

Arias is proposing an alternate idea, agreeing that a parking fee levels the playing field for in-city residents and visitors.

“The regional parks (fee) provide us a way to charge … out of city residents for the cost of providing the regional amenities — they have to pay for parking. I think we have to come forward with a city of Fresno discount because they are already paying for Measure P,” Arias said.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email