A petition drafted by the Woods of Westlake Homeowners Association in early June describing years of dangerous behavior and potential ecological damage by visitors is approaching 1,000 supporters.
The area is frequently congested with daily greenbelt guests—a trend that has been amplified by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to Christie Schultz, the interim president for the WOW HOA.
The trailhead, referred to as Trails End or the Hill of Life, was indefinitely closed by the city of Austin along with other greenbelt entries July 2 in response to a recent surge in coronavirus cases. When the access point reopens to the public it could feature a paid parking system, increased signage and no-parking zones, per a newly launched program released by the Austin Transportation Department on July 13.
The Woods of Westlake Integrated Parking Pilot seeks to maintain the greenbelt’s public access while alleviating residents' concerns, according to a newsletter released by ATD.
Physical parking meters will not be installed on Scottish Woods Trail, said Sam Haynes, a public information specialist for ATD. Visitors will utilize contactless payment through Park ATX, Austin’s mobile payment system.
ATD did not explicitly announce rates but noted the program will follow progressive parking rates, meaning the cost depends on the length of each parking session.
WOW residents, including those on Scottish Woods Trail, Scottish Woods Cove, Shannon Oaks Trail, Wild Briar Pass and Surrey Hill Drive, can continue to park free of charge by registering for digital permits.
On-street parking will be available for residents only on Scottish Woods Cove, Shannon Oaks Trail, Wild Brair Pass and Surrey Hill Drive.
Due to the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, ATD has not established an exact timeline for the parking program. However, the neighborhood may see increased signage by the end of July.