Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

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Moovyoaz
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Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by Moovyoaz » Sep 13 2010 4:52 pm

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I would like to remind you that the Phoenix City Council votes this week on enforcing the Parks Board's recently approved fee to park at preserves. This would be yet another new fee placed upon the taxpayer in Phoenix, while very little of the burden to balance the budget has been felt within the city's organization -- all so Phoenix can afford an average cost of labor of almost $100,000

The council needs to see and hear from you about your position on this new fee before it is too late. Round up all your neighbors and come to the council's Formal meeting this Wednesday at 3 p.m. in the City Council Chambers (200 W. Jefferson Street). There will be an opportunity to speak if you would like, and even if you cannot stay until the end, you can fill out a card stating your position. Please see my column below that outlines why I will vote against this fee.
Respectfully,
Sal DiCiccio
Councilman District 6 - Ahwatukee, Arcadia, Biltmore and North Central
602-262-7491 council.district.6@phoenix.gov
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The latest citizen sacrifice: Hikers
The city of Phoenix is getting ready to bleed yet another passionate segment of its citizenry, hitting them up for a few more dollars because they truly care about a narrow aspect of city life and are willing to pay more for it.
Then the city will turn around and give that money to its employees. There is insufficient backbone to say no.

This time it’s the hikers
You’ve seen this movie before: Threaten to kill or severely cut some service with passionate (or desperate) supporters. Offer up a disaster scenario if more money isn’t produced. Then, after the initial wailing and public apoplexy, come up with a slightly lesser fleecing of this group to gain public compliance. Hey, it’s only a few bucks and it will keep our (fill in the blank) hiking trails, softball fields, library hours, etc. etc. etc.

The Oscar for this performance came during the budget hearings, where police, firemen, libraries and seniors centers were offered up as sacrifices to the fiscal gods if the public didn’t approve a $50 million food tax. Take a wild guess where all the public hearings were held? Libraries and senior centers, naturally.

The ugly truth is that the $100 million in new taxes and fees Phoenix has already imposed on its citizenry in the past seven months is not necessary to keep those services and protections. It’s to find enough money to pay for 14,000-plus union-represented employees who average $100,000 a year in compensation.

The parking fee – at trails you already pay for three ways – came about after the city drastically cut services and hours for parks, then gave the parks board the notion that if it didn’t raise money for the general fund, much more would be cut. That’s where the $5 a day parking fee came up (later reduced to $2 – hey, a comparative bargain). Then the city management promised that all the new dollars would go to parks.

First off, management can’t guarantee that. Even the Council can’t guarantee that.

On Sept. 15, the Phoenix City Council will be asked to approve enforcing this latest rummage through your pockets (3 p.m., Council Chambers, 200 W. Jefferson). No Council approval, no new fee. I say it’s time to separate the taxing-and-spending addict from its drug, which is your money.

If you want to learn more, contact us. Or show up at the Council meeting and tell Phoenix it has enough of your money already. And be sure to send this around to your email list.

Councilman Sal DiCiccio represents District 6, which includes Ahwatukee, Arcadia, Biltmore, East Camelback and North Central. He can be reached at council.district.6@phoenix.gov.
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Thoreau
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by Thoreau » Aug 27 2014 8:41 am

Tough_Boots wrote:I think your "reality" and interpretation of your "experience" might be dangerously flawed if you think I "believe the city can do no wrong" just because I don't have a problem with an inexpensive yearly pass for a service that is probably used by more non-city residents than city residents and that I think people we place into government should be educated and experienced in the fields they are dealing with.
I can only go on what I see here since the only time I've ever directly met you was on the side of Peeley while on a search pattern for GPS Joe. Not much time to get to know a person =)

Regardless of that, you are willing to allow the imposition of what YOU consider 'inexpensive' fees on the entirety of your fellow man that may wish to use the same resource (and who is already likely paying for it via other taxes just like you and I.) Firstly, that's arrogant to decide for others what is 'inexpensive'. What's cheap to you might not be to another. It's also pretty fountain cleanser of the city to take money from people for something they're already paying for. It's called theft, even if it's 'inexpensive.'

Nobody here (that I've seen) is arguing against the schmucks we hire for government roles being educated and experienced. Wether they are or not is at best HIGHLY debatable. Education and experience still don't guarantee quality work coming from them, and as such they need to be held to at LEAST the same standards as any other job out there and fired immediately when failing to perform. (This goes double for politicians in my opinion.) Tax dollars are too finite a resource to waste on incompetence and failure, regardless of their 'qualifications'. Or hey, let's keep them in those roles and just add fees and more taxes!
Tough_Boots wrote:Are you talking about the American Revolution? Do you think the United States government existed before the revolution? How did that restore something that didn't exist before?
Sometimes the fix isn't a repair of the existing, but a replacement of the failed. You and I both know you understand this though.
Tough_Boots wrote:They could have tried a little harder-- they were still owning slaves a couple hundred years after Europe began abolition. I wonder what their concept of freedom and rights actually were because even in the late 1700's they were way behind the times-- must of had something to do with their pocketbooks.
In a few hundred years I'm sure someone will look back at you and wonder why you killed all the seagulls with your pollution to create electricity and spewed forth more pollution from your vehicle and wonder why you didn't try harder too. Or how you buy and use products that were manufactured by modern day 'slaves' in 3rd world countries.

We'll just cast aside anything good you've ever done in light of the above atrocities.

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Tough_Boots
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by Tough_Boots » Aug 27 2014 8:44 am

chumley wrote:So. Parking meters.
at least we can probably all agree that parking meters are a bad idea :D
"there is no love where there is no bramble."
--bill callahan

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Tough_Boots
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by Tough_Boots » Aug 27 2014 8:54 am

Thoreau wrote:In a few hundred years I'm sure someone will look back at you and wonder why you killed all the seagulls with your pollution to create electricity and spewed forth more pollution from your vehicle and wonder why you didn't try harder too. Or how you buy and use products that were manufactured by modern day 'slaves' in 3rd world countries.

We'll just cast aside anything good you've ever done in light of the above atrocities.
that is a totally incorrect analogy... for that to be correct, the rest of the world would have outlawed pollution and sweatshops 200 years ago and I would be the only one still committing these atrocities with total disregard to modern ethics.
"there is no love where there is no bramble."
--bill callahan

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Thoreau
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by Thoreau » Aug 27 2014 8:55 am

So because others still do it, it's okay. Interesting.

At least I should be able to safely assume you agree with everything else I wrote since you choose not to respond to the rest =)

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Tough_Boots
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by Tough_Boots » Aug 27 2014 9:11 am

:D
Thoreau wrote:So because others still do it, it's okay. Interesting.
no-- its not ok, but you can't realistically expect everyone to have an advanced sense of ethics. Ethics advance with time and its those who fight against that who are the problem. Americans fought against this advancement and we ended up having a slaughter we call the Civil War. The Civil War wasn't Americans fighting to make the world right-- it was modern culture slamming America in the face because it couldn't exist alongside our atrocities any more.
"there is no love where there is no bramble."
--bill callahan

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Tough_Boots
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by Tough_Boots » Aug 27 2014 9:17 am

I totally need to get some work done today... and has diverted ridiculously far from the topic, soooooo..... :sl:
"there is no love where there is no bramble."
--bill callahan

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Thoreau
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by Thoreau » Aug 27 2014 9:36 am

Tough_Boots wrote:no-- its not ok
Now that we've established the above, feel free to take it back the chain and realize that the mythical creatures absolutely can and sometimes do resolve governmental wrongs. Damn 'average citizens' and their rabble rousing!

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skatchkins
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by skatchkins » Aug 27 2014 9:36 am

I heard there was hiking at the White Tanks but I have never driven through the gate...
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sidhayes
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by sidhayes » Aug 27 2014 10:40 am

Toughboots seems to be channeling Howard Zinn

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neilends
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by neilends » Aug 27 2014 2:21 pm

I am an avid political junkie myself, but after decades of following these debates over and over again have come to the firm conclusion that philosophers and ideologues don't really know what they're talking about and are very good at wasting everyone else's time.

I like the idea of trailhead fees for visitors with a cheap annual pass for Valley residents. Not because I'm a Communist or have an objection to Keynesian economics. Cuz it makes sense. Parking meters: ugh.
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." --John Adams

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jochal
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by jochal » Aug 27 2014 4:05 pm

What skatchkins says above rings very true for me; I'm always thinking about going to my local maricopa county park (usery) to hike around, but I just get angrier and angrier thinking about paying $6 just to park. I end up either not going or driving somewhere else, farther away. Usery especially irritates me, since the best trails are actually on national forest...but thats another topic...

I would be open to paying fees if they are truly reasonable, and if its shown that the money is going directly to the benefit of the park (and how so). I havent seen any suggested numbers, so I'll take a stab at it. I would think $35 for an annual pass (for anyone, not just phoenix residents, after all, revenue is revenue no matter where it comes from) and $2-4 for car entrance (less than the gas money for most of us to get there) is fair. Subsidizing the cost a little for Phoenix residents might be nice (I'm not one). I also think they could consider a lower charge for piestewa. I agree parking meters are unacceptable, because 1, they're super ugly, and 2, you dont want people rushing down the mountain to beat the meter.

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CannondaleKid
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by CannondaleKid » Aug 27 2014 5:27 pm

jochal wrote:I would be open to paying fees if they are truly reasonable, and if its shown that the money is going directly to the benefit of the park
The fees do in fact fund the Maricopa Parks.

I believe it was early in 2002 (I don't know for sure because I moved to AZ in late 2002) when it was decided the Maricopa Parks had to be self-funding. Ok, well and good.

However, instead of continuing with the $40 annual pass and doing more to promote annual fee, they raised it to $75! So this became a case of we'll make more money on the annual passes but in effect, it dropped the sales of the annual passes (and use of the parks in general) to the point that less money was being taken in. Some years back I had debated with Jennifer (the Usery park super) that the high fees were actually a detriment to park use. And if they did ANY promotion along with reasonable fees the use would rise enough for the lower fees to bring in the needed funds. Of course she was only the park super it wasn't her decision to make.

So... I created a CD with a full video of Usery Park, with photos of all the features, the amenities, the archery range, etc.etc. and I offered to provide 200 CD's that would be free, one to a car until they ran out, then see if they got ANY bump in annual passes,(which the CD was promoting) but again, Maricopa County decided to continue along with no promotion... so, MANY folks who had lived in the vicinity for many years still didn't know Usery Park was even there and what it offered.

Now coming from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, at the time I moved to AZ their Hennepin County Park System (Hennepin is a large mainly-metropolitan county similar to Maricopa) had an annual fee of $25. Further, I believe it was within a year or two after I left, they created a three-county system of parks and made them totally free. But of course that meant that three separate counties had to decide to work together and find the funding through other means.

Back to Maricopa parks... thankfully ONE positive from the 2008 depression or whatever you want to call it, was that more people started using the Maricopa Parks instead of driving farther, and for a few years the Usery campground was full almost year-round. As a result, they built a new entrance kiosk, a new welcome center, better covers over the playgrounds, etc., etc. Since I have frequented the park for a dozen years, hiking and biking (easily biked over 10,000 miles in the park in that time) I have seen the changes... the truly positive changes in the park and while I grouse about the $75 annual fee ($65 next year when I hit 65), BECAUSE I spend so much time in the park (and yes, outside of it in the Tonto Forest land) I find it well worth the cost of admission.

And no, I don't want to re-hash the Usery pass thread I was involved in way back... somewhere around 2004 or 2005?
All I will say is what I said back then...
If you want to hike around Pass Mountain without paying a fee, then simply park at end of Meridian Road and do the loop from there. HOWEVER, please don't expect to use the restrooms at the Wind Cave parking area because they are funded by the fees.
:M2C:
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by SpiderLegs » Aug 27 2014 6:53 pm

Maricopa just raised the annual pass to $85. It's more expensive than the annual pass for national parks.
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jochal
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by jochal » Aug 28 2014 9:52 am

Looks like they are choosing to discriminate against slow hikers like me by going with meters:

http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoeni ... tain-parks

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big_load
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by big_load » Aug 28 2014 11:04 am

jochal wrote:Looks like they are choosing to discriminate against slow hikers like me by going with meters
I hope they survive the climate better than the meters used in the Supes under the fee demonstration program.

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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by BobP » Aug 28 2014 2:14 pm

I spoke with a woman from abc news 15 after she was done interviewing two others. We talked off the record and we are of like minds. She may have filmed me after I left for round two or maybe she was focused on the many chuckwallas out today.
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by chumley » Aug 28 2014 2:32 pm

BobP wrote:I spoke with a woman from abc news 15 ... and we are of like minds.
You're a ditzy blonde who just graduated from Journalism School whose lifelong goal is to host Good Morning America? ;)
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by SpiderLegs » Aug 28 2014 4:03 pm

chumley wrote:
BobP wrote:I spoke with a woman from abc news 15 ... and we are of like minds.
You're a ditzy blonde who just graduated from Journalism School whose lifelong goal is to host Good Morning America? ;)
Either that or just happy that you've made a success out of yourself in the 12th largest media market in the country.
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by chumley » Aug 29 2014 3:49 pm

Breaking News:
Phoenix has dropped proposal to install parking meters at 3 popular trailheads following public outcry
-notification via azcentral mobile app

No story or link is yet available online.
https://twitter.com/azcentral
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Re: Phoenix trailhead parking fees city council vote

Post by Nighthiker » Aug 29 2014 5:22 pm

Looks like Hayduke can return the pipe cutter to Amazon.
jk

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