2 October 2007

Hospital parking woes continue

| GnT
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After a serious backflip on pay parking at hospitals due to public demand, we are now dealing with the consequences of that decision. It’s impossible to find a park.

Anyone and everyone including workers at Woden and Belconnen can now take advantage of the free parking that is provided just minutes from their workplaces. Genuine hospital patients and visitors are finding it stressful to drive around and around with no places available.

The obvious solution is to make people pay for parking to discourage office workers using that space. Oh wait – we tried that and it wasn’t popular. Any other ideas?

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Yeah paid parking is the only way, but as pointed out it needs to be pay at the end, not pay and display as they did. As someone suggested few hours free, then charge ranging up to the max for the area. If you are a patient, then do as some shopping centres do (and I think the tradies club at Dickson), get validation inside for free parking. Easy, but yes it requires gates and staff, which costs money.

Pay parking didn’t make it any easier to park at the hospital. When I visited, I still drove around and around to no avail, nearly missing my appointment.

Since then I’ve been parking in the nearby streets and walking. Doesn’t do much good for my lung function tests when I get inside. There was a lady last time I was there on 24hr oxygen who has to book the earliest appointments just so she can get a park close enough for her to walk.

FFS people!
They are building a multi sory car park on the hospital grounds at Woden and a several hundred car parking space across the road for staff.
I doubt very much if any worker is parking at the hospital and then walks to Woden to work just to save a cuppacino in parking fees. And unless proved otherwise, I doubt anyone is using the hospital as a park and ride.

Canberra needs some sensible park’n’rides. I bet a lot of the people parking at the hospitals are doing this.

I work in a Woden Office and my partner works at the hospital. I have been watching this train wreak evolve over the last few years. We car pooled for a while and i did walk to woden BUT i never saw that many people walking towards Woden. In fact, over the last year, i would say that I was the only one walking that direction.

The consolidation of services at and around the hospital combined with the ANU grads has filled the carpark. It was getting worse every year and then all the new grads coming seem to tip it over the edge.

I wonder why they can’t build a nice three story underground park, paid, of course and then put a nice two or three story office above, sort of like what they have in the new Canberra Centre. You could get the private setor to flip the bill and give them a 50 year lease for the car park.

Gungahlin Al2:55 pm 02 Oct 07

AD: having visual of Hospital staff parking lot on top of Red Hill and flying fox down to work… 🙂

As a parent of a kiddie that’s frequently in Canberra Hospital I think the solution is simple.

. Make the parking 2 hour limited. This stops workers from elsewhere from parking there, but allows most visitors to patients to park for free. Who’d want to visit for more than 2 hours? Have the grey ghosts police this viciously!

. Patients (either admitted, outpatients or A@E) get one voucher that hospital staff put a time/date on. You place this on the dash to keep the grey ghosts away.

Paediatrics used to have this system – if my kid was going to be in for an estimated three days – the voucher said so. Voucher could be shared between primary care-givers over those 3 days. Extensions available if required.

It’s a trivial amount of work for the front desk/nursing staff and it keeps those legitimately visiting the place happy.

captainwhorebags2:33 pm 02 Oct 07

What’s the rate when you go in for what you think is a straightforward problem and wait in ED for 8 hours?

What do you pay when your vehicle has been parked there for the last 6 days while you are caring for a loved one ?

Just about all the above suggestion have little merit or are unworkable in the real world.

User pays is the only workable solution that is difficult to abuse. It can be implemented in a smarter way than the ill-conceived previous disaster.

Example: Free for the first two hours. After that a sliding scale to a maximum of the Woden all-day rate. Payment on exit. That’s it. Quick visits become free, all-day visits are still affordable, and the price mechanism can be adjusted to suit the load, so that if it turns out that 40% of the daily spaces are always empty, the daily rate could be reduced to make it a bit more attractive and get the spaces utilised.

Not rocket science but it seems to be beyond the grasp of the responsible officials in the ACT Govt…

Absent Diane1:19 pm 02 Oct 07

Solution: Use a combination of Flying Foxes and Giant Beach Balls for transport therefore eradicating the need for cars and parking them. Obviously there would have to be flying foxes linked up to particular things (like whereever anyone wants to go ever) given the random nature of wind and Giant Beach Balls.

Carpool FFS. I am sure that even the most introverted person ever will find people that either live in their or the neighbouring suburb that work relatively close to themselves. They might even find someone that has their tax paying for their car, fuel and parking space lease.

er…a voucher that confers limited property rights for a specified purpose and time.

next problem?

Dark and Mysterious12:37 pm 02 Oct 07

Sammy, that is the most brilliant idea I’ve heard for, oh, ages! Beats heck out of my plan to turn them into allotments for people wanting to grow their own vegies….

Oh, and before anyone complains that there isn’t room in the suburbs, consider those big brown ovals that are now useless. By week they become carparks, and on the weekend they become basketball courts, radio-controlled car events, futsal slabs (rofl) etc etc.

Given it is obvious that workers are willing to suffer some exercise in order to save some cash, why doesn’t the Government capitalise on this situation.

Build carparks in the middle of suburbs that are roughly the same distance from Woden as the hospital is, and the problem is solved.

People park away from Woden, and get some exercise, and the hospital doesn’t suffer.

Offer them incentives to park further away.

Parking in Phillip is $4 a day.

Parking in Pearce is $3 a day.

Parking in Torrens is $2 a day.

Parking in Farrer is $1 a day.

Parking in Wanniassa is free 🙂

Gungahlin Al11:24 am 02 Oct 07

Paid parking wasn’t the failure at the Canberra hospital – the pay-up-front method chosen by the govmint was. The extra expense now gone to because someone wanted to “save” some money on gates etc is astounding. And the stubbornness of the bureaucrats and Minister when everyone told them it wouldn’t work was telling too.

I hate pay parking, but it seems universally needed around hospitals.

I’d love to see other things like environmental pollution get the same level of policing that parking gets though…

I blame cyclists for this!

The worst bit about the parking at Canberra Hospital is the amount of poor drivers around. I bought a new car in July and in the first month a car reversed into my parked car (although he was nice enough to leave his contact details) and on Friday another person scraped off the side without leaving their details.

Yep, ask the blood bank at Woden, they’ve already solved this same problem with permit parking as suggested above…

Even 1 or 2 hour free parking would be enough to stop the office workers, but be enough for anyone making an emergency/short notice or quick visit, while anyone staying longer legitimately is already in the hospital to register/validate/get a voucher.

Parking validation. It requires ticket machines, so it’s not free to set up, but it would work. You get a ticket to enter the car park, and to exit you either pay the amount owing or get your card validated at the hospital.

If fiddling with gates and cards is too painful, there’s a cheaper method, not requiring extra infrastructure: it’s free parking for the first thirty minutes (parking inspectors go round chalking the wheels to enforce this). Within that thirty minutes, the car owner has to let hospital admin know their car registration. Parking inspectors call in the rego of any car that’s exceeded its time; if the hospital admin don’t have it listed, it gets booked. Hospitals already have computer networks and grey ghosts already have radios, so that would just be a bit of extra fiddling.

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