While providing free parking near Peace Arch Hospital during the pandemic was a good idea in theory, in practice, it seems to have led to abuse by people who park all day and leave no space for those who have business at the hospital, writes A.L. Hills. (Tracy Holmes photo)

While providing free parking near Peace Arch Hospital during the pandemic was a good idea in theory, in practice, it seems to have led to abuse by people who park all day and leave no space for those who have business at the hospital, writes A.L. Hills. (Tracy Holmes photo)

LETTERS: Free hospital parking comes at a cost

Time limit on spaces would help ensure one is available when needed, writes A.L. Hills

Editor:

Have you tried to find a place to park at Peace Arch Hospital so you could visit a friend, go for a procedure, or get someone to emergency? Good luck, unless you are there before 8 a.m.

While Fraser Health’s intention behind free parking during the COVID-19 pandemic was well intentioned, what’s happened at Peace Arch Hospital is that anyone looking for day parking – say, people who happen to be working on the many high-rise construction sites in the area, make use of the freebie.

Meanwhile, anyone who needs to go to the hospital for a procedure has to drive around the streets looking for a place to park and hope they get to their appointment on time.

Charging for parking in front of emergency (the enthusiasm the city’s traffic enforcement people to ticket always made me wonder if their pay was tied to a quota) has always been a bad idea. But what we have now is benefiting day parking, not patients.

No one is “to blame” for this, but consequences are affecting the people who were supposed to benefit.

We need something different.

How about four hours of free parking from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and maybe free after 5 p.m., so people can use the parking lot for what it was intended – a place to park while you went for a procedure or to visit a sick friend.

The way it is working now just isn’t fair.

A.L. Hills, Surrey

CoronavirusHospitalsLetter to the Editorparking