Losing patience over Penticton hospital parking

Sudden removal of 35 parking spaces in an already crowded parking lot is unnecessary and I ask you to please reinstate the spaces.

Last week when I was trying to park in the designated hospital parking lot, I noticed that 35 spots are now allotted to “Staff Only” and no longer available to visitors or patients. Frustrated people were circling around and around trying to find a parking space. Two parking attendants were being besieged by people who were venting their anger at the situation.

Yesterday, knowing this, I arrived at the parking lot an hour early for my appointment at the cast clinic. It took me half an hour of circling to find a spot, and then, as I waited for the person in the spot to back out, with my indicator blinking to show that I wanted the spot, a large pickup roared into the vacated spot from the other side. I tooted my horn and a burly man exited the pick up, strode over to me, gave me a rude finger sign and yelled that he had been trying to park for 15 minutes, he had to visit a dying friend. I said that I had a hospital appointment and had been waiting to access the spot. He mouthed obscenities, kicked my car hard, and stormed off.

I found another spot, parked and as I was walking to the side door, passed another person waiting as somebody left. She too, had her indicator flashing. A SUV nipped into the spot, and she too tooted her horn in frustration. The driver got out of his parked car, grinned at her, waggled his fingers and sauntered to the hospital door. She burst into tears. I saw another car about to leave and went and stood in the spot so the lady could park. We walked in to the hospital together, she had a cane and was in obvious pain.

The whole cast clinic waiting room was talking about the difficulty in parking. After my appointment I went to see the administration of the hospital and talked to Ms. Cheryl Pentland about the occurrence. She has suggested that I write to you detailing the situation.

The staff of the hospital have legs. They can walk from their proper parking lot. Many of the people visiting the hospital are injured and find walking difficult. It is hard enough to be visiting a doctor, or to be ill, nobody wants or needs the added frustration of circling for ages to find a parking spot. The rude actions of two people yesterday were brought about, I am sure, by the total frustration of not being able to park.

I know that hospital is very stressed, both for beds and for parking spaces. But this sudden removal of 35 parking spaces in an already crowded parking lot is unnecessary and I ask you to please reinstate the spaces for patients who need them.

Interior Health said when I phoned them that I am the only person ever to complain about this. I urge any other frustrated people to phone you at your office: 1-250-491-6326.

Jacqui Tapping

Penticton