Two hours

User pays did work on this occasion. I was the driver to a dental appointment, dropped her off, and made way for a park, the usual parking spaces whenever I dropped her off at the dentist. I instantly found what I was looking for, a parking space. Not too many left over. Then I paid at different intervals, depending on how long this dental appointment would take. I went back and forth between the dentist and the parking space and slotted in the coins when the time on the meter expired. I finally made it to the end of the appointment and no parking ticket and the price was a miserly eight dollars for two hours. User pays did work this time–if all you need is two hours in the big city. What’s eight dollars then? I was glad to be home, considering it would have added up, every quarter of an hour. Yet eight dollars was okay for a long afternoon that I will not revisit for a long one year again. User pays works, but this is a fact of life. Users of services must pay. At least here. Whether we agree with this — that parking fees are not necessary for councils who already take residents’ rates — is besides the point in two hours of tense packed action, trying to avoid the parking ticket. Life is happening as one grabs a coffee on the run. My companion did get the benefits of twenty minutes in the dental chair — another necessity of life — and she, as they say, is “all good.”

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