Parking frustrations at the Ottawa Hospital
Published Wednesday, July 23, 2008 6:11PM EDT
Motorists trying to park their cars at the Ottawa Hospital's General Campus were faced with limited parking Wednesday, causing frustration amongst hospital outpatients, families and staff who were scrambling to find parking spaces.
In some cases, people had to walk kilometres to reach the hospital; many others who found parking nearby got ticketed.
"It's just mass bedlam - it's just crazy," said Pat Dale, who was at the hospital to visit her brother-in-law.
"We have a family member dying of cancer right now so we're upset to begin with, so this is not nice."
Hospital officials say the parking problem stems from routine maintenance that's closed the hospital's public parking tower.
"As a result, we may be seeing more frustration but we do have staff posted at all the entrances directing people to where they can go to park," said Natalie Hanson of the Ottawa Hospital.
Still, Dale says the directions being offered to motorists aren't good enough.
"They direct you to go into a parking area when in fact there's nothing there and then when you do find something it says 'Lots Full' but they don't warn you until you're in there," she said.
The limited parking at the hospital is also causing frustration amongst taxi drivers, who've been allowing some motorists to park behind their taxi stand.
"It's a hassle," taxi driver Moufid El-Khoury told CTV Ottawa. "It's not right. They should find parking for the people that come here."
Many who were able to find meter parking - which costs $1 for every 10 minutes - were also in a bind, facing hefty parking tickets Wednesday.
"It's just an outrageous ticket," said Owen Evans, who ran out of time on his parking meter and was issued a parking ticket despite his handicap permit.
"I have the permit. The permit's there. I had it out there - they still gave me the ticket anyway."
The Ottawa Hospital, meanwhile, says it has 355 public parking spaces at the General Campus and insists parking should not be a problem at the hospital.
Hospital officials say the parking garage is expected to reopen on Thursday, creating 375 extra parking spots for the public.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Jonathan Rotondo