A short-term parking pain at the Foothills Medical Centre (FMC) will lead to long-term gain, according to Alberta Health Services (AHS).
Construction on the $60-million parkade is ramping up this week and some visitors complain it’s already tough finding space for their vehicles since the original parking facility was demolished in October.
A few are taking a chance and illegally parking in the St. Andrews Heights neighborhood across the street from FMC.
“Yes, I had to park here – no choice. I have to walk so much. I tried, I went over there somewhere and dropped my sister but no, there’s no parking over there,” said Badrudin Mossani, just before he trekked over to the hospital to visit his sister.
AHS admits there may be some inconvenience but said it is trying to help patients, visitors and staff cope during the construction period.
“For patients and families, there has been no reduction in parking stalls. We have asked some staff and physicians to move off site temporarily,” said Michael Suddes, site director for FMC.
In addition, a temporary parking lot has been set up next to the Alberta Children’s Hospital with a shuttle service to transport staff back and forth to FMC.
The United Nurses of Alberta union said it’s not an ideal situation for some of its members.
“Well, some staff are disgruntled because it takes longer and we are trying to address that through occupational health and safety committee at the Foothills Hospital,” said Karen Craik, UNA secretary treasurer.
AHS said the new parkade will have 800 more spots than the original 1,200-space parking facility.
It will be ready for use in 2019.