Updated: Thursday, 08 Jul 2010, 11:01 PM MDT
Published : Thursday, 08 Jul 2010, 10:54 PM MDT
PHOENIX - Get ready to bring your wallet with you next time you go hiking. The City of Phoenix has decided to charge $5 for the public to park at mountain parks and preserves.
It's $5 to park or $75 for a yearly pass. The new fee will affect hikers and people who live near those hiking trails.
It's not sitting well. Some hikers we talked to said, "It's not a gym."
Homeowners are also not too fond of the idea. "That's going to bring overflow to our neighborhood, I don't want cars up and down my street," said Addison McCormick, who lives near a recreational area.
The City's Park and Rec board approved the fee last week, trying to raise money to avoid budget cuts. The board imposed the fee without getting approval from the City Council or the voters, something that Councilman Sal DiCiccio says never should've happened.
"It was done hastily, it was done wrong with lack of transparency, and I think the City of Phoenix just needs to get rid of this fee," says DiCiccio, who will fight to get rid of the fee.
The $5 fee will affect hikers at South Mountain, Papago, Piestewa, Camelback, and North Mountain.
But not everyone is against the idea. Noelle Kirth hikes Piestewa Peak five times a week. "I don't see that there's a problem… if the parks need the money to maintain the parks I think $75 is pretty reasonable for a year."
The fee goes into effect in a month. There will be a 6-month leniency period before tickets are actually written.But the question remains who will write the tickets and how people will buy passes -- the city says they can't afford to put booths at every trail.