Parking Barking

Should parking be free at hospitals?

Tammy Robert thinks so. On the Charles Adler radio show last week, she mentioned something about having to pay $500 over 32 days in parking fees when her preemie child was receiving treatment, and how that money was out of line or something.

Hospitals may validate parking

At small dead animals, Robert started a discussion on the matter and said it was pathetic for anyone to expect taxpayers to foot their bills for others. Opinions at sda ranged from the idea that we already paid for the hospitals so it should be free, to the ascertation that those who don’t want to pay for the parking could just park elsewhere and walk a bit further. (Notice that no one said they could take the bus, which is the cheapest option by far for the user. I wonder why.) Most comments were along the lines that parking fees were just a user tax grab.

I was surprised, however, that no one pointed out the obvious. If parking fees weren’t so high, there wouldn’t be any place to park.

This past year, I’ve spent a bit of time at the Royal University Hospital, where Ms. Robert’s child was born and received treatment. It is expensive there, almost as much as some parts of Calgary, which has the most expensive parking in the country. Yeah, it was a pain in the ass to pay up $15/day or whatever it was.

However, there was always room in the parking lot. If rates were cheaper, then students, staff or faculty from the university would park there on a regular basis, and people visiting at the hospital might spend a bit longer than they would otherwise. The high cost of parking ensures that those who need the space more will have a greater likelihood in finding a spot to park.

Yeah, it’s also a bit of a tax grab, but I’m thankful every time I go there that there’s room for me to park, and I don’t mind paying a bit extra for that privilege.

I’m surprised most of sda’s readers never caught that.

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