Your View: Thornton Hospital parking switch created a mess


By Fred Landis

La Jolla resident since 1982

On Nov. 7, there was a three-block backup to enter parking at Thornton-UCSD Hospital, together with a backup on exiting long enough to prevent those finally entering from reaching a parking space.

The parking system had broken down to the extent of producing that most un-San Diego event — absence of mellow. Actually some were irate.

All this is the consequence of the needless change from a system that worked just fine to the addition of parking tickets and barriers. In the first place both the barriers and machines broke down, so the final solution was to just leave the barriers up and hand out tickets by hand.

One week before none of these problems existed. The parking system at Thornton was simple, obvious, democratic and it worked.

Unlike other hospitals, where a new patient is faced with endless signs warning him where not to park, Thornton had a large, centralized space where within 60 seconds you were parked. Since the fee was modest nobody wasted hospital staff time trying to get some ticket validated. If it took no more than one minute to park; it took maybe three minutes to pay and exit.

Millions of dollars in ads could not have achieved the results of this simple parking system, all undone by some bureaucrat who decided to install the ticket machines and barriers. Endless resentment parking, impossible to exit, and wasted time of staff validating the new, obnoxious tickets.

Thornton needs to go back to square one where they were before the barriers.