Measures coming to help traffic and parking at Cape Breton Regional Hospital
With winter in the rear-view mirror, Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) is reminding people where they can and can’t park at Cape Breton Regional Hospital.
“Parking is a year-round challenge at the hospital,” says Brett MacDougall, executive director of operations for NSHA’s Eastern Zone. “Every day, we see a large volume of traffic, which includes staff, physicians, patients, visitors and volunteers, not to mention supply deliveries, fuel deliveries, garbage pick-up and other supply services. Many days it’s incredibly hard for vehicles to navigate around the building and parking lots due to people parking in the wrong place.”
NSHA is taking a number of measures throughout the spring to make navigation easier and ease vehicle congestion.
Parking enforcement is being increased. Starting Tuesday, May 21, any vehicles that are not parked in designated parking areas or are parked along roadways or in a fire lane will be ticketed. Tickets will be issued by hospital security and/or bylaw officers with Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM). Fines will be paid to CBRM, not NSHA.
Under the Motor Vehicle Act, any unpaid or late pay tickets will appear on the driver’s record. Parked vehicles will be towed if they block access, impact services, prevent the delivery of supplies or services to the hospital, or block emergency vehicles. Currently, vehicles not parked in designated areas receive warnings from security to remove their vehicles.
“Parking along the roadways and outside of designated parking spots has gradually increased over the past few years,” says MacDougall. “When vehicles are parked in the wrong place, it impacts the ability of people to get to and from work or appointments on time. It also impacts the ability of businesses to provide their supplies and services to us, including things like fuel delivery and garbage pick-up. It also impacts the ability of emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire trucks to respond in a timely manner.”
NSHA is also reminding people where they can park on the hospital’s grounds.
Public parking is available in the large lot at the front of the hospital. The public and staff can also park at the back of the hospital in the lower rear lot across from the mental health entrance and in the large upper rear lot. Public parking at the hospital costs $3 per visit. Weekly and monthly parking passes are available at the hospital through the parking office located next to the pedway to HealthPark.
Staff parking has two designated areas that can only be accessed by employees: one is at the front of the hospital across from the emergency department and the other is at the back of the hospital in the rear lower lot across from the staff entrance. Staff and public can park in the upper rear lot at the back of the hospital and the lower rear lot across from the mental health entrance.
Parking (Cape Breton Cancer Centre side) has a preferred parking lot for staff and physicians at the rear side of the building. It also has a designated parking lot for cancer centre patients near the centre. A second designated parking area for cancer centre patients will soon be located within the staff/physician preferred parking lot. Parking for cancer centre patients will be identified by green signage and green parking lines.
Accessible parking is available in the front public lot and the lower rear public lot and outside the renal dialysis unit facing HealthPark. Expectant mother parking is also available in the rear lower staff-only lot.
Metered parking is available outside of the renal dialysis unit and in the current cancer centre parking lot.
Pick-up/drop-off areas are available for patients outside the renal dialysis unit, cancer centre and at the front entrance. Staff pick-up/drop-off areas are available at the back entrances behind or in front of the ambulance drop-off areas indicated by the yellow paint on the curbs. Staff can also use the pick-up/drop-off area at the front of the hospital.
In addition to reminding people of the available parking options and increasing enforcement, other steps are being taken to improve parking congestion around the building. These include an upgraded gate in the preferred parking lot, new signage, improvements to existing signage and new or repainted lines.
People are reminded to use caution and watch for vehicle and pedestrian traffic around the hospital and in the parking lots. They are also asked to slow down and use caution on roadways near the hospital and as they enter and exit the parking lots.
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