Yesterday Lorna had to go in for an outpatient procedure at UCLA medical center. We started out the day with the check engine light coming on again, grrrr... After driving through horrible Los Angeles traffic we found we had to pay $8 to park at the hospital! When we go to the medical plaza, the parking costs are $7 so we usually park a few blocks away and walk, making sure to be back before the 2 hour time limit is up. We didn't have that option this time since she was going to be there longer than 2 hours.
I ended up dropping Paul and Lorna off at the door since I couldn't immediately find a space. I drove around and around, frustrated at the lack of parking that I could fit into.
We have one vehicle, a largish truck. As you are driving from our place to UCLA you pass this point where the small cars start to outnumber the pickups and SUVs. Once you get into the cities around downtown it is rare to see trucks the size of ours, and ours isn't all that large. The parking structure at the hospital has clearance of 6'10" and we barely fit. The overflow parking is 6'7" so we couldn't go in there even though there was plenty of spaces. Did I mention the spaces are also very narrow? I finally found 2 spots, one had 2 minivans beside it and they had both parked over the line so there was no way I could fit. The second space was next to a small car and one of those "toaster" vehicles, you know the ones that are blocky and are supposed to be SUVs. The car had parked over the line but I was just able to fit. Problem was I couldn't open either front door enough to get out. I finally just crawled out the back. All this for the bargain price of $8!
We have to go back in November for a longer procedure that will probably require a few days of recovery there and I worry about how we are going to find and afford parking for numerous days. When did hospitals start charging for parking? And for all that money you'd think they would provide parking that was a little more user friendly.