Monday, March 19, 2007

Provincial Park Pay Parking Peeve

Many months ago, October I believe, Biscotti and I drove to Mt. Seymour to take the dogs for a hike to one of the pumps. We were surprised to see that it was now a pay-parking endeavor. We'd already made the long drive so we decided to pay. In calculating how much we should pay, we anticipated being back to the car 3-4 hours after starting the hike. However, our payment options were as follows: $1 for the first hour, or $5 for all day. No option of paying $3 or $4 as we knew we'd be less than 4 hours.

The majority of people who make the drive up to that parking lot are going to be spending more than an hour recreating. Less than the majority will spend more than 5 hours. Some - many - will spend less than 4 hours; some - not as many - will spend less than 3 hours; but they all must pay $5. I understand the need to get money to maintain parks, but at the same time, people need to be encouraged to enjoy BC's parks. Stanley Park, for one, has options of paying for as many hours as you think you'll need. Why not at Mt. Seymour? Annnnnnd, as a bonus, the payment machines at Mt. Seymour only accepted loonies and quarters. No toonies, no paper money, no credit cards.

As I said, this was many months ago, but I bring it up now because this past weekend we encountered the exact same thing at Alice Lake. We had no coins and there was no one else around to get change from, so we just didn't pay. Our only other option was to drive away without recreating there; after the long drive up, that really wasn't an option.

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