A pair of lots have been leased to alleviate parking problems around the new hospital under construction in Courtenay.
The trick now is to get the workers to use them.
“I would call it a work in progress,” said Tom Sparrow, chief project officer of the North Island Hospitals Project. “Graham (Group) is still in the middle of training and educating the trades folk to use the new parking lot that has been set up for them.”
Businesses on Madrona Crescent and homeowners near Mission Road have complained about hospital workers not observing a one kilometre radius parking restriction. Contracting company Graham Group — which was awarded the $331.7 million hospital project — has the parking restriction built into its contract. Self-monitoring has not worked.
On Monday, Sparrow said there were about 10 vehicles parked at the new lots, but many were still parked on Mission. On Tuesday, he received a call from a frustrated neighbour on Mission, to whom he explained the new set-up.
“I asked for a bit of time for Graham to ensure that the contractors and sub-contractors are following the guidelines and directions. That doesn’t happen overnight.”
The leased lots are directly across from FortisBC in both directions, one on Mission and another on Lerwick Road. Sparrow figures each lot can accommodate about 120 vehicles.
More than 550 trades people are working at the site.
“Which is just phenomenal,” Sparrow said. “Ninety two per cent of that is Island-wide, and 64 per cent is local. You can’t get better statistics than that. It’s just wonderful, but unfortunately they all drive vehicles. We have to find a place for them to park, and obviously not put any pressure on our neighbours. There’s no intention of that happening…It’s a learning process.”