An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
PARKING AT ROYAL INLAND HOSPITAL is going to be a bit of a schmozzle until the end of the month with Clinical Services Building elevators out of commission.
But what else is new?
At any time, parking there is not for the weak of heart. I had cause to visit the Clinical Services Building a couple of weeks ago and neglected to allow enough extra time.
By the time I gave up trying to find a spot in the parkade and went looking offsite, I missed the appointment. Next time, I got one of the very last spots before having to exit onto Columbia Street, circle back and try again.
Others weren’t so lucky. One guy saw me walking through the parkade and asked me if I was leaving so he could get my space. He explained that this was the fourth time he’d circled through the parkade that morning.
Now, due to the elevator problem, Interior Health is switching public parking to the old parkade now used by doctors and staff, and moving the latter into the newer Clinical Services parkade.
When that parkade was built three and a half years ago, it was hailed as the solution to the long-standing parking issue at RIH. With 350 spaces and ceilings high enough to accommodate pickup trucks, it’s certainly an improvement.
It is, however, already too small. That fellow who was hopelessly circling around and around has lots of company.
The new patient care tower now under construction will include a couple of hundred additional spaces.
That’s not nearly enough — we’ll soon be back to circling around. Shiny new buildings are important, but so is parking for those who use them.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.