For better or worse, parking changes are coming to Kelowna General Hospital | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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For better or worse, parking changes are coming to Kelowna General Hospital

On-street parking changes will be in place for roads surrounding Kelowna General Hospital by June 19.
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KELOWNA - New payment measures and restrictions coming to streets surrounding Kelowna General Hospital are likely to create more stress and trouble for patients, visitors and staff, say some hospital employee veterans. 

New time restrictions and pay parking additions will be in effect by June 19 but what the area really needs is simply more parking says Pam Matic, an employee at the hospital.

“People come in late all the time for appointments because they cannot find a place to park,” she says. “There’s not even enough parking for staff, let alone patients.”

According to Matic, only a certain number of employees can get parking passes, but even if you pay for a pass, you’re not guaranteed a parking spot.

“It’s first come first serve,” she says. “If you are getting to the hospital around noon, there is no parking. The crowding on the street is ridiculous.”

Matic pays $14 per day on average for parking. That’s $70 per week, and $3,640 per year.

“I’ve had patients come for an appointment and have had to cancel because they can’t afford the parking,” she said. “People are coming in for heart surgeries and then drive around not able to find parking - only making that stress worse.”

For some patients, the walk from a parking spot to the hospital is too far, due to their physical conditions, according to Matic.

“The City’s job is to help people, and in this case they’re not - we need a parkade, or at least affordable parking.”

“These changes...  are being made to encourage parking turnover and to make it easier for patients and hospital visitors to find short-term parking,” said the City’s notice on the parking.

The new measures include extending the existing two-hour time limit on Royal Avenue to 24 hours, adding pay parking on Abbott Street and Rose Avenue from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and expanding the two-hour daily parking restrictions to include Richter Street between Glenwood and Elliot Avenues.

The north side of Royal Avenue between Long and Pandosy Streets will now be full-time one-hour parking

Additionally, overnight resident permit only parking will be in effect for Glenwood Avenue, Christleton Avenue, Speer Street, Abbott Street, Rose Avenue and Atwood Place, while one-hour parking will remain during the day. There will also be resident permit only parking on Long Street between Royal and Cadder Avenues.

The new measures were approved by city council on Dec. 5, 2016.

Let us know your opinion on the parking changes around Kelowna General Hospital in the comments below.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Hickman or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

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