Petitioning for parking solutions at Royal Inland
Marg Brown isn’t surprised there’s another petition circulating about parking at Royal Inland Hospital.
In fact, the hospital administrator said, she wishes sometimes she had bought a house nearer to her place of employment because she also runs into occasions when it’s impossible to find a spot.
It’s why parking remains a priority in the institution’s master site plan process, a document now being reviewed by the senior executive team and board of the Interior Health Authority (IHA) before being taken to the city.
Brown noted parking is a longstanding issue at RIH.
“So, I think it’s neat that someone has taken the initiative to have this petition about it.”
She was referring to a decision by Rose Bourdin to start gathering signatures at the recent Seniors Expo at Northills Shopping Centre, an exercise that saw her collect 399 names in a five-hour period.
“Oh, and the horror stories we heard,” Bourdin said of the comments she received from’ people waiting to sign her document, ranging from someone who didn’t stop to pay for metered parking at the emergency department — “He just ran in and, when he finally got out, had a $47 fine” — to a senior who guessed she’d need four hours of parking, paid her $6 and walked into the hospital, only to learn her appointment for tests had been rescheduled.
“And, that’s money she can’t get back,” Bourdin said.
The parking-payment issue is one that particularly angers her, especially at the ER, a place she was at seven times in a two-month period when her husband was sick.
“You’re stressed, you just want to get in there and they expect you to stop and pay and not know how long you’ll be?” she said.
“It’s inhumane. Why can’t they go back to the way it was when you paid when you left and you just paid for the time you were there?”
She’s not happy about the lack of parking in the parkade, either, another issue mentioned to her by many of the seniors who signed her petition.
One area Bourdin mentioned is the treed area at the front of the hospital, a site once eyed for parking.
That plan was abandoned after a lengthy public campaign to save an ancient tree that would have to be removed for a parkade.
Brown is not sure there would be the same groundswell of support for the trees now as there was a decade ago.
One of the reasons, she said, is hospital use has increased dramatically in the past decade, making the parking problem an even greater issue that has to be addressed.
“It’s very frustrating,” Brown said.
“I know how frustrating it is.”
Bourdin is still collecting signatures and plans to ask city council for its support in her quest before she meets with IHA officials.