Hospital parking in St. Johns – Are Meters Really Needed?
When you’re sick or visiting a loved one in the hospital, the last thing you need is to be running back and forth to a parking meter, trying to avoid a ticket. In fact the only thing worse may be to show up at the hospital and have no parking space available at all! ….And therein lies the problem.
Spaces are limited and sought-after around our St. John’s hospitals, so without some sort of deterrent all the parking lot space would be quickly grabbed up. In the case of the Health Sciences Center, students from nearby university buildings would flood the parking lot each day were it not for the fear of receiving a ticket.
Still, Many people feel that meters are a extra financial burden that should not have to be shouldered by our sick and their families. Some see it as an unnecessary “cash-grab” by the hospitals.
Meters account for 0.075% of budget:
According to a recent CBC article, the parking lots around our hospitals rake in $900,000 for the health authority, whose annual budget is $1.2 billion. That means that meters offset less than one-tenth of one percent of our health system’s yearly expenses. It would seem that they could in fact be replaced with free parking, as long as we’re all willing to foot the bill. But even if taxpayers did make up the difference, the issue of parking abuse would still remain.
Perhaps a compromise may be the answer – keep the meters but issue permits to patients. If they are admitted they could give the permit to a close family member for visiting purposes. It’s not perfect, but it would remove some unnecessary stress and financial strain from patients and their families.
What do you think? Should there be free parking or should people learn to live with the meters? Let us know in the comments section below.