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City waives parking time restrictions to accommodate busy health care professionals

A health-care worker from Kingston General Hospital has tested positive for COVID-19. Paul Soucy/Global News

Editors note: Currently, time restrictions on metred-parking, such as three-hour time limits, are still in place.

The city of Kingston is waiving time restrictions for parking on city streets to accommodate healthcare workers experiencing changes in their daily commutes due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

READ MORE: Kingston hospitals introduce new measures aimed at reducing coronavirus spread

Usually, on city streets, the city of Kingston has parking restrictions between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., and 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

These restrictions are usually in place to allow for short-term parking in the downtown core and to encourage transit use among those who work downtown, including Queen’s University and hospital staff.

Due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, Kingston Transit has changed its weekday schedules to a Saturday schedule, reducing public transit significantly in the city.

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One hospital worker told Global News that this cut in transit has forced many health care professionals to start driving into work, where they would usually take the bus.

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The city did add an extra bus that operates between the Centre 70 park and ride, the Jim Beattie park and ride, and Kingston General Hospital/Queen’s University between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 6 p.m to address some of the concerns.

But on Wednesday, after several people voiced their concerns about hospital staff having to move their cars, or potentially pay for parking all day while they deal with a heightened volume of patients, the city announced they would be cancelling those restrictions.

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Nevertheless, the city lifted its time restrictions on parking on all city streets to “ensure that the parking supply throughout the city remains available and accessible to those who require it.”

“The city continues to monitor the situation closely to understand the evolving needs of residents and commuters, and will adjust parking operations as necessary,” the city news release read.

Currently, time restrictions on metred-parking, such as three-hour time limits, are still in place.

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