The letter below from Austin Parks and Recreation Department Acting Director Warren Struss regarding the parking situation affecting our neighborhood is published on our web site with his permission.

June 3, 2004

Don Long, President

Barton Hills Neighborhood Association

2205 Farnswoods Circle

Austin, Texas 78704

Dear Mr. Long:

Thank you for allowing the Parks and Recreation Department to attend your upcoming Neighborhood Association meeting on June 22, 2004 and discuss concerns that have been raised regarding the parking on the south side of Zilker Park.

This is the second summer the Parks and Recreation Department has been charging for parking at the south gate in Zilker Park. The parking on the south side of the Pool is limited to approximately 200 vehicles.

The south side parking area of Zilker Park has experienced considerable increased usage over the past several years. While charging for parking does generate significant revenue needed to maintain city programs, the revenues also offset the expenses associated with controlling parking and traffic. Parking control ensures emergency vehicle access to the pool as well as managing the significant increase of vehicle use on busy summer weekends.

We are sensitive to the neighborhood concerns regarding the impact of cars parked in and around the neighborhood and I have asked our Park Police to monitor the neighborhoods to ensure that parking violations are enforced. In addition, beginning this weekend, we will begin placing cones along the Barton Hills Drive to deter parking in the bike lane.

As for the economic issue, as in the previous years Barton Springs Pool does not start charging until 9am. The parking fee does not go into effect until 9am through the front gate (Barton Springs Road) or until 11am at the South gate (Robert E. Lee). Anybody who wishes to enjoy this park and pool free of charge may arrive before those charge times.

We will continue this public discussion soon and look forward to a continued positive relationship with the Barton Hills Neighborhood.


Warren W. Struss, Acting Director

Parks and Recreation Department