New parking fees proposed for some national park sites in SF, Marin

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Bay Area's majestic and renowned natural spaces have often provided a needed escape from the occasional dreariness of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, it has come at a predictable cost.

The agency has proposed adding an hourly parking fee at a handful of national park sites in San Francisco and Marin County, according to a press release.

Officials said it is in response to a "dramatic increase" in visitors during the pandemic, and the high associated costs that come with it, such as sanitation management, general maintenance, and visitor safety.

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Many park visitors either walk or bike to the affected parks, with public transit still serving as an option, park officials added.

If approved, the fees target the parking lots for Baker Beach, Sutro Heights, Lands End Lookout, Navy Memorial, China Beach, Stinson Beach, Rodeo Beach, and Fort Cronkhite. The proposal called for a daily $3 an hour rate from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a $10 daily maximum, according to the release.

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area has also brought up plans for adding a charge for after-hours tour of the Point Bonita Lighthouse, with flat fees of $16 for adults 16 and over, $10 for children ages 7 to 15, and $8 for seniors ages 65 and older.

The fees would be incrementally added over several years, with first increases starting in mid-2022.

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