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Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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Portland Parks & Recreation Announces Park-wide Changes to Improve Washington Park


New Paid Parking System Begins January 10, 2014

(Portland,OR) –

As park-wide improvements continue in Washington Park, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) announces that the new and universal Pay to Park system throughout WashingtonPark will go into effect on January 10, 2014.

Learn more about WashingtonPark’s challenges in this video from Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté:

Please note that Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo ends on January 5, and will not be impacted by the Pay to Park system.

Currently, non-members of the Oregon Zoo,Portland Children Museum, and World Forestry Center pay $4 per vehicle at the gates of those attractions. This cost is consistent with the new universal Pay to Park system. The new system will be utilized in Washington Park’s 1400 parking spaces during certain hours only, and many trail heads will remain free.

The Pay to Park system will allow PP&R and our partner organizations to establish the stable funding necessary to make significant improvements in and around the park, to manage parking more effectively and to better address visitors’ transportation needs.

100% of all parking fees will support improvements in and around Washington Park to provide:

-Funding of the Washington Park Transportation Management Association (TMA)

-Completion of the WashingtonPark Transportation Management Plan.

-Operation of a free park-wide shuttle within Washington Park

-Development of a Washington Park Master Plan to guide park improvements

-Assessment of parking, gateway, and access needs at the north and south ends of the park

-Completion of initial south entrance improvements, generally consisting of a new gateway feature, way-finding signage, enhancements and landscaping, bio-filters, and an improved stormwater system.

-Enhanced maintenance of transportation-related infrastructure in the park

-Portland Park Rangers dedicated toWashingtonPark to support security, traffic and circulation, and to assist visitors.

Learn more about WashingtonPark’s challenges in this video from Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté:

About the Pay to Park system:

- Currently, non-members of the Oregon Zoo,Portland ChildrenMuseum, andWorldForestryCenteralready pay $4 per vehicle at the gates of those attractions. This rate has been in effect for a number of years, and is consistent with the new universal (park-wide) Pay to Park system.

-The biggest difference between the paid parking system utilized downtown and the Pay to Park system coming at Washington Park is the pay-by-space method in the park. The Pay to Park system begins January 10, 2014.

-Visitors will enter their parking space number and payment at any pay station in Washington Park.

-There are 30 minutes free on every transaction; though visitors must still enter your space number.

-Visitors can extend their stay if needed at any pay station in the park, by entering their parking space number and payment.

-You can choose to pay a flat daily rate or use the hourly option.

In December 2012, Portland City Council unanimously directed Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) to establish the new Pay to Park system to provide for safer and better service to park visitors, and to address long-standing deferred maintenance issues. Metro Council also authorized the measure. PP&R has worked closely with all the attractions in the park to make the transition to this new Pay to Park system as smooth as possible.


As the population of the Portland metro area has grown over the past few decades, the numbers of visitors to Washington Park and its paid attractions have steadily increased, too. Today, an estimated 3 million people visit the park each year. Yet its transportation system hasn’t kept pace and the city’s dwindling park funds can’t begin to cover the investment needed to make improvements, or even to cover maintenance costs. The park needed an infusion of attention and stable funding to accommodate the large number of visitors and to avoid impacts on adjacent neighborhoods. The 1981 Washington Park Master Plan highlighted the need to address parking, circulation and transportation concerns in the park. It is only now, with funding from the new Pay to Park system, that the resources will be available to address these long-standing challenges.

How it works: The Pay to Park system will be similar to the parking system in place downtown with one important difference – it will be a “pay-by-space” system. Drivers will note their parking space number (all parking spaces in the park are now numbered) and enter that number and payment at any of the pay stations located throughout Washington Park. Pay stations can be found in the parking lots, near the attractions, and at other conveniently located spots.

Rates: Hourly rate is $1.60 with a $4 daily maximum during the non-peak season, and $6.40 daily maximum during peak season.

Seasons: Peak season is April 1st – September 30th, and non-peak season will run from October 1st – March 31st.

Hours: Pay to Park hours for the southern end of Washington Park (the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial lot, the West and South lots near the Oregon Zoo area) are 9:30 AM to 9:30 PM.

Pay to Park hours for the northern end of the park (Hoyt Arboretum, Rose Garden, to northern entrances of park) 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

30 minutes free on every transaction. All pay stations will grant 30 minutes FREE on each transaction, to allow for short visits and drop-off in the park and at attractions. There is no charge to park for 30 minutes or less; though everyone will still need to enter their space number at a pay station. The free 30 minutes are automatically added to every transaction. So if you pay for an hour, you get an hour and a half.

Where: The Pay to Park system will be installed in most parking space clusters throughout the park, which are:

The south parking lots that serve the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial, the Oregon Zoo, the Portland Children’s Museum, the World Forestry Center; and some trails into the Hoyt Arboretum; the Hoyt Arboretum parking lots; the park's north parking lots associated with the Japanese Garden, the International Test Rose Garden; striped parking on park roads throughout the park; and the Archery Range along SW Kingston Drive

More info:

Visit the Washington Park parking information page for frequently asked questions and more comprehensive information.