WATCH: Rachel Lau reports on residents concerns over Sainte-Justine Hospital parking issues
MONTREAL — Peter Koziris is finding out the hard way that living hear a hospital isn’t easy.
“We’re frustrated,” he told Global News.
“We need action.”
He, along with over 100 residents on Brighton Street in Cote-des-Neiges, have been fighting for over a decade just so they can have a place to park their cars.
“We’re entitled, just like the hospital workers are that come in and invade our streets for free,” said Koziris.
“If it’s public domain, we should also have access as tax payers.”
But some are insisting that this is not stopping many of the hospital’s employees from opting for free street parking.
“We have the hospital up the street with the employees who park everywhere, patients who park everywhere,” said Antonia Kandilerakis, a Cote-des-Neiges resident.
“We’ve had even some people park in our driveway.”
In the past few months, the battle for parking has deteriorated into a war of words.
“Living under these conditions is horrific,” said resident Nancy Bucovetsky.
She said she filed a police complaint after finding a threatening note on her car.
“We get intimidating letters on our cars, which is actually rather frightening when you live in that area,” she said.
“You now have to wonder who is lurking around.”
Koziris said that he won’t stand for someone threatening the neighbourhood, especially as it is a mostly ageing population.
He said he is asking the city to make a few, small changes.
“One to two hour parking,” he said.
“If you’re a resident, and you have a permit, you can park there — but if you don’t, then you’re limited to two hours.”
Borough mayor Russell Copeman told Global News that he’s well aware of the situation.
“We’re doing a study by licence plate to see where people come from and where they’re parking to see if we need to make further adjustments,” he said.
“There’s a certain equilibrium that’s necessary between the needs of the residents, which are completely legitimate, and the fact that the streets remain part of the public domain.”
Although residents said they understand these things take time, they said they feel they’ve been talking too long, and it’s time for action.
“It’s been over a year,” said Koziris.
“Our last meeting was in May and now we’re in January.”
Residents are hoping for a resolution before the next council meeting on Feb. 9.