As parking options at the General Hospital get slimmer, workers are looking to the Saskatchewan Health Authority, but that may not work.
Parking has been a problem at the hospital for years – workers aren’t able to use the visitor parking within certain hours, staff parking is full more often than not, and street parking is very limited and timed.
Snow routes this winter are going to affect that area, and the new proposed city budget would install parking meters there as well.
Many workers at the hospital are frustrated and looking for solutions, but it doesn’t appear they’ll get any new ones from the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
Dale Orban is the manager of parking services, safety and special projects for the Regina area. He said the health authority is always looking for ways to improve the parking experience.
“We’re constantly trying to get input and feedback from our users as to how we can enhance the service and make it better for our staff.”
A few years ago a park and ride program was created, which shuttles workers to the general and offices downtown within certain hours, and those hours were recently expanded. Orban said about 250 people use that service right now.
However, Orban said nothing is going to work for everyone all of the time.
“We’re never going to appease everyone. And some people will just park on the street – that’s their choice and there’s no way we can stop them.”
Some people have suggested a parkade for staff would be a way to fix all the parking problems, but Orban didn’t seem to think that idea would work.
“We have no ability to purchase property around the General Hospital that would provide any additional parking.”
Orban explained that the cost to an employee would likely be between $250 and $300 a month to park in a parkade they built – which is more than parking tickets or the $45.24 it costs to use the Park and Ride program. He also pointed out that to build a parkade would take money away from healthcare in the province.
The health authority has talked to the city about the situation and had hosted the city at two recent town halls meetings. Orban said the authority can bring things up with the city administration but ultimately, things like parking tickets are out of its hands.
“All we can do is provide what we think is a really good option, and keep trying to improve on that option so our staff have the opportunity to not worry about getting tickets constantly.”