Friday, July 23, 2010

There should be Free Parking at State Parks

For the first time in over two years I drove out to Hempstead Lake State Park in Nassau County to do my regular Friday summer hike. I pulled my usual "stunt" and parked on a side street about 1/4 mile away. This summer the parking rate for New York State Parks went up to $8. Regular park users can buy a seasonal pass. I could see paying that if I was going to be in the park for several hours for a family picnic. It is just not worth it for just me to walk around for 2 hours.

When I arrived at 9:30 AM the tennis courts were full. I assume many of them were season pass holders. When I left the park about 11:30, the park was almost empty. There are usually school buses with day campers at that time. If a passenger car must pay $8, how much does a school bus have to pay? Does the high cost of parking keep people away from parks?

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