Ridge Meadows Hospital parking is still pay, but streets free

Surrey has removed meters on streets, asking Fraser Health for free parking at the hospital

Recently, one parking stall that was free for lab patients, was converted to general pay parking.

Surrey is making it easier for people to park around Surrey Memorial Hospital, but Maple Ridge residents are already getting a bit of a break.

While patients or visitors have to pay to park in the Ridge Meadows Hospital parking lot, the streets around the facility offer free spots for anyone who can walk a block.

The newly elected Surrey city council is giving two free hours of parking on streets that surround Surrey Memorial and is also asking that Fraser Health remove pay parking at its 2,041 hospital stalls.

But, “We don’t charge for parking anywhere on our streets,” said Coun. Judy Dueck, who dealt with the issue in 2013, when she was previously on council.

Former councillor Corisa Bell had pushed council to consider establishing free parking at the hospital.

But a legal opinion in 2013 told council that the only way the city can cancel or regulate parking fees at the hospital is if a public health bylaw is adopted under the Community Charter, with the approval of the Ministry of Health.

The opinion also said the city could amend its zoning bylaw, making the hospital zone conditional upon it providing free parking. But that could be challenged in court and Fraser Health could simply allow pay parking.

In 2017, Fraser Health agreed to review parking fees at Ridge Meadows Hospital.

Dueck said the issue didn’t come up during October’s election campaign and only one person has raised it since. She doesn’t plan on raising the issue at council.

In September, one of only three free parking stalls for lab patients was converted to general parking.

In 2016, parking at Ridge Meadows Hospital raised $617,000 a year, while region-wide, Fraser Health made $10-million a year from fees in hospital parking lots.

Dueck said that if parking becomes free, the taxpayer will have to pay for the costs somehow.

“It’s not free. It’s going to come out of a budget somewhere.”

Parking fees at Ridge Meadows Hospital are $3.50 for the first hour, $3 for each additional hour, a day rate of $8.25 and an evening rate of $5.25.

Dueck suggested that some of the stalls at the Ridge Meadows Hospital parking lot have the first hour free of charge, just to give people an option of parking for a short period of time.

But that idea needs to be reviewed by Fraser Health, she added.

”That’s easy to say, but what does that mean?”

The city has posted signs on nearby streets limiting parking to two hours and telling motorists not to block driveways, while some streets are resident-only parking.


Former councillor Corisa Bell wanted free parking considered at Ridge Meadows Hospital. (THE NEWS/files)

Just Posted

Maple Ridge’s Tiller’s Folly kick off international music series in Surrey

Come Dancing Around the World takes place at the Surrey Arts Centre

Rescuers battle fog, wind, rain on stormy Maple Ridge mountain

Four hikers rescued Sunday in Golden Ears park

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Guilty plea in Lower Mainland break-and-enter spree

Gordon Vincent Gladstone, 42, was charged with 12 counts relating to a dozen incidents in late 2018

Vancouver police officer hit with bear spray mid-arrest

Officer had been trying to arrest a woman wanted province-wide

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Most Read