To the editor:
The front page article on Kelowna General Hospital parking (Capital News Nov. 8) was worth making note of.
It was significant that the City of Kelowna’s proposed solution to control street parking is more bylaw enforcement with a designated bylaw officer just for the KGH area—more fines, more restrictions, quicker towing of offending vehicles etc.
Anywhere else I need to go in Kelowna, be it to an office building, a shopping mall or plaza, a doctor’s office, clinic and most parks except City Park, parking is provided free. It is only at KGH that the citizens of Kelowna have to pay to park.
It is also of note that in all areas of Kelowna and most other cities in B.C. and other provinces, vehicles which are used by handicapped persons and display a Handicapped Parking Permit can park for free even where paid parking is in force. This is not the case at KGH where even patients with Handicapped Parking Permits still have to pay parking fees.
It seems to me that there may be a simple answer to this huge problem:
1. It should be very simple, with an in-house survey of hospital staff, to ascertain how many staff parking spaces KGH needs.
2. To provide their staff with a designated parking space for their use at no cost.
3. To allot all remaining parking spaces at KGH, both in the parking structures and at ground level, for patient and public parking at a reasonable hourly fee.
4. Patients would be able to redeem their parking tickets from the relevant departments in the hospital at which they are being treated.
5. There must be free spaces for handicapped permit holders the same as everywhere else in most of the province.
Taking these actions would certainly reduce the parking pressure which exists on surrounding streets around KGH.
As a last word, the parking spaces which exist at Strathcona Park should not be used by the Cancer Clinic or any other department at KGH. They should remain as parking spaces for park users, not Cancer Clinic staff.
The parking problems at KGH needs an urgent solution which is more patient friendly for the persons who have to use it. Not more towing and more signs and more restrictive practices.