Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Pay parking is coming to popular surf beach
State announces it will charge $10 per car at Trestles lot at south end of San Clemente.
By FRED SWEGLES
The Orange County Register
5 Decades of free parking at one of America's premier surfing beaches, Trestles, is about to end.Because of California's budget crunch and state parks' efforts to raise revenue, San Onofre State Beach will soon begin charging cars $10 a day to park in Trestles' 84-space public lot at El Camino Real and Cristianitos Road."It could be (in) a couple of days. It could be a couple of weeks," said Rich Haydon, Orange Coast District parks superintendent."We have a lot of costs at San Onofre … we have to have some cost recovery there," Haydon said.Pay parking could take the form of an entry kiosk, an "iron ranger" collection device or, down the line, a pay machine, Haydon said.It's also possible that state parks may raise the day-use fee of $10 per car. Haydon said there has been talk of it but nothing definitive.Charging for parking in the lot could put a premium on free curbside parking spaces available nearby along Cristianitos Road, El Camino Real and San Clemente residential streets.El Camino Real has about 45 free spaces along the stretch in front of the Trestles lot. Cristianitos Road has about 15 free spaces next to the I-5 Freeway, plus an additional stretch of free parking inland, past a "no parking" zone.Years ago, San Clemente imposed a 2-hour limit on parking on residential streets near Trestles so surfers wouldn't take up the spaces all day when the surf was pumping.