FRESNO, California. (KGPE) – The City of Fresno is in the process of implementing new technology at Woodward and Roeding Regional Park that will change the way you park and pay.
City officials say they are not raising the daily rates and those with annual passes can still use them. Otherwise, it’s $5 per vehicle and $3 for seniors.
When you spend that many years at the same dog park, you get to know every snout.
“Some of them have been coming for 15, 20 years,” said dog owner, Virginia Lubisich.
Lubisich says she visits the Woodward Dog Park so frequently that she knows every dog and its owner by name.
But they’re not happy with the parking changes coming to Woodward Park.
You’ll no longer have to stop at the ticket booth and pay someone, instead, you’ll drive right in and park.
You’ll pay at an electronic kiosk or through the park mobile app, the same app used to park in other areas of the city, like downtown.
“The idea for this is how do we make the experience better for those going to the park,” said Fresno City Councilmember Tyler Maxwell. “How do we make it more efficient so there’s not a bottleneck of cars going into Woodward Park, the answer is let’s make it more efficient.”
The more than $200,000 plan was approved in September of 2020 and will use license plate recognition cameras.
“If you are going to the park and not paying for it, you will be receiving a ticket in the mail, ‘this is how much you owe this is how much you should have paid when you go to the park,’” said Maxwell.
Dog lovers at the Woodward Dog Park think it will be a deterrent.
“They are either going to park on the outside, which business owners won’t like that,” said Art Mora, a dog owner.
Mona Ahmed adopted the dog park more than a decade ago.
“I always say, ‘Why not free?’ Because it’s for everyone to enjoy,” said Mona Ahmed.
She wishes the money would be spent on improvements instead.
“Trees are dying, this grass used to be lush, green, but I don’t see any penny coming to the park,” said Ahmed.
Maxwell says the changes will allow visitors to enter the park more safely.
“By investing in this technology, you are going to be able to get in and out of the park so much easier and so much more safely,” Maxwell explained. “I think when folks start using the new system, they are going to find it’s going to be a great thing for their families.”
A few other people at the park who didn’t want to go on camera said they were on board with the decision.
As for a timeline, that will depend on what happens Thursday during a city council meeting, where they will vote on paying an additional $25,000 for the technology.