Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Forming the next great movement in Peterborough – to prevent parking fines

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Forming the next great movement in Peterborough – to prevent parking fines

In the “Kingdom of Peterborough” we have a particularly nasty place to be engaged by ‘Officialdom’. That place in the Professional Medical Centre on Charlotte Street where it changes to Clonsilla.  It is the place my Mom’s Doctor has his office.

The parking meters at the north side of the Centre are only 30 minute meters.  Meaning that it will only allow you to spend 30 minutes of time in that spot before they give you a parking ticket.

Can you imagine?

Now in order for a ticket to be giving out the meter will have to expire.  And the parking folk will have to be there when the expiry takes place. I have parked in this area along with other seniors that have to park here.  That isn’t really true though… they could park in the lot and pay the $5 for parking compared to the meter parking of about 50 cents.  But what senior would waste good coffee money on a meter or in a parking lot when you can hover there waiting for your mate to get her blood tests done – or whatever.

You will already see where I am going with this one. No spouse or patient ever goes into a Medical office for only 30 minutes!  Getting to the waiting room takes 15 minutes for most people.

Well hovering around this block or the 30 minute parking meters are the ‘parking police’ – or dedicated parking meter readers that buzz in to sting whoever they can. They don’t walk here they drive around and around the building to try catch people.

Now think of the costs that are involved in this City of Peterborough endeavor to catch dirty, rotten criminals. And then think of the general cost to the whole of the health care system.

There is first the cost of this man or woman who is driving car all day trying to catch the expired meter culprits. Then the cost of the vehicle that is constantly running as it zooms in and around the perimeter waiting for the flash of “Time up”!

Now add the increased costs of higher blood pressure and a racing heart beat as the parking culprit with the almost to expire meter… ticking down. Caught in the slow moving senior’s line inside the Medical Centre the heart rate and blood pressure increases. The doctor then has to prescribed medicine to bring down these two lethal problems for the senior… and the medication that the senior then buys is paid for by the same Government.  But added to that is the cost of the Doctor’s time and his billing to the Government for his seeing of the over stressed patient with the high blood pressure and heart racing problems.

Whoa! Can you see what one silly parking meter has caused and one City Parking Meter buzzard has done – just to make sure that each person’s meter is plugged properly?!?

That one action may have caused an additional $200 to $1000 per year to the system – per old person!  All of that to make sure that the City gets its 50 cents each half hour!

I came across a story of a group of people in calling themselves “Free Keene”.  They act like kind of a Robin Hood group. They follow the parking fine people and swoop in to plug the meter when it expires – just before the meter dude can write the ticket… thus no extra income for the City.  They have saved the residents of Keene thousands of dollars in fines by keeping meters full.  And they likely have reduced the blood pressure and heart rates – thus the medical costs by a million bucks.

Way to go “Free Keene”!

What a great new way for the Squeegee Kids to make a buck or two.  Don’t you think a panic stricken senior might tip a young man for saving him having to pay $15 fine because his meter ran out?  I do and I would.

Now maybe it could be a senior that might do the meter plugging bit… and make a little cash for him or herself. Hmmm?

But my guess is that a group of senior men just might have some fun watching the parking meter buzzards not give anyone any tickets.  And it is exercise to boot walking up and down that block to plug the meters, having fun messing with the City and saving others from fines.

But there is a cost to the seniors isn’t there. Yes I guess there would be. But when you balance that out against the happiness factor and the great work that is done… it would pay off in the long run.

The old guy that does the meter plugging would have a happy wife because he is not home all the time driving her nuts too… more help to lower blood pressure and heart rates… and less divorce of older couple (less murder too?).

Now there you have it.  A truly inspired ‘make work project’ that lowers health risks and increases benefits for everyone.

I wonder if my “helpers”, fellow meter pluggers, might consider wearing a costume of some sort… a blue outfit with a red cape?  Hmmm?

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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