The City and County of Honolulu is closer to solving a parking problem near a popular tourist spot.

Patience is a must when it comes to looking for parking in Waikiki, and it’s even better when it’s free.

Many visitors were pleasantly surprised to find just that at the Honolulu Zoo.

“I came in here last night to visit and there was free parking and I was a little shocked,” said a woman parking in the lot.

Earlier this week, KHON2 reported that the paid parking lot became free after the vendor that managed it, Moana Parking, went bankrupt on April 17.

All 10 pay boxes were covered with a sticky, putty-like substance and signs were posted. They have since been completely covered.

“Free parking here in Hawaii is always wonderful, but it can be a problem. It can have its downfalls,” said driver Greg Stanley.

KHON2 was told by a viewer that some people are now abusing the privilege.

Some cars that might have parked there for a few hours are now left in the lot all night long, we were told.

“There are cars that have been here for three or four nights and I can see why that would become a problem,” Stanley said.

Right now there’s no vendor supervising the lot, but at the end of the week the city says it will have a new vendor and things will change.

Proposals are being accepted until Friday to find a new vendor and the city will review them this weekend.

It hopes the new vendor will start operations by the end of next week.

“The kids love the zoo, but if people come on the weekends and you have residents parked here for Sunday and Saturday, where are they going to park? Then the kids have to walk further and that may deter business at the zoo,” a driver said.