An Armchair Mayor editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
COMPLAINING ABOUT parking at Royal Inland Hospital is a little like hitting someone when they’re already down, like flogging a dead horse, dwelling upon the obvious, trying to turn back the tide, and all that.
But, I can’t help myself. It is a wonder of planning and engineering. People are complaining about there not being enough overheight parking stalls in the new Clinical Services Building parkade but it’s such an improvement over the old situation I have nothing but kind things to say about it in that regard.
There is, of course, the fee-payment system, which has become such a subject of public derision that the Interior Health PR department surely has several weeks of overtime coming for the extra hours it put in trying to spin it into something positive (some things just aren’t possible).
Other issues remain. I had occasion to make use of the parkade this week and noticed that the elevators now have tiny little notes of explanation glued beside each button. This is not exactly professional looking, but anything is an improvement, since when the parkade opened there were people getting lost for days in there trying to figure out how to get to where they wanted to go. It is such a counter-intuitively designed building that the fate of some who have entered is still unlearned — the Kingston Trio should write a song about it.
Anyway, the trip in was a lot easier than the trip out. I had paid my money in advance, as we now must, and all I had to do was find my vehicle and depart. Easier said than done.
Having committed to memory my parking stall number, I headed down the stairs to the P1 parking level, where one assumes stall number 108 would be located.
That is, if one thinks logically. Committees tasked with designing numbering systems for hospital parkades don’t think that way. What they do is, brainstorm ways to make parking as confusing as possible.
So, of course, stalls numbered 259 to 350 must go on parking level P4. If your stall number is 164, why, that will be found on P3. It’s somewhat like a new version of the Rubik’s cube — you aren’t supposed to be able to figure it out except by pure, blind luck.
What if they were to number P4 stalls starting with — oh, let’s see, the numeral 4, and P3 stalls starting with 3 (such as 300 and so on), and on like that.
That would actually be intuitive and, plainly, no fun at all at the committee level. As it happened, my visit was the same day as official approval of a new multi-million-dollar patient-care tower was being announced, so in the big picture, parking-stall numbers might seem insignificant, but empires have crumbled on lesser follies. One shudders to imagine what they’ll come up with for parking at the new tower.
As for stall 108, I eventually found it on parking level P2, by which time I was ready for lunch and a tall glass of Scotch, and I don’t even drink Scotch.