Parking Lots Essay

1746 words - 7 pages

Introduction The proposed expansion of the Vancouver Island Cancer Centre in Victoria was put on hold in June 1996 when the New Democratic Party reviewed all major capital projects. Primarily due to pressure from patient advocacy groups as well as the general public the freeze on the Centre's expansion was revisited. In February of 1997 the government announced that the Cancer Centre would go ahead on the Royal Jubilee Hospital site.The site chosen for the new Cancer Centre included the footprint of an existing surface parking lot thus eliminating 285 staff parking spaces. The need to find a temporary solution while construction was underway or alternatively, to build a permanent structure, became a major stumbling block in going ahead with the construction of the Centre.Previous negotiations between the Capital Health Region (CHR) and local neighbourhood groups had, in recent history, deteriorated to the point that third party intervention had been sought. One of the results had been the establishment of regular Sub-Committee meetings between the CHR and the neighbourhood groups. It was at one such meeting that these groups were to discover that a B C Hydro-owned site near the hospital was under consideration for use as a temporary parking lot. The site was considered without public consultation; this galvanized into action the three community groups as well as concerned individuals. An Oak Bay high school obtained 600 hundred signatures from people opposed to turning the site into a temporary parking space. Alternative suggestions, such as on-street parking, were also met with opposition from the neighbourhood. While not eager to commit the funding for the project, due to an inability to come to alternative solutions, in the fall of 1998 the Capital Region District (CRD) gave approval to build an $8,000,000 parkade on the hospital site. This parkade would replace the lost employee surface lot and would result in a net gain of approximately 300 parking spaces.Several sites on the hospital grounds were considered as possible parkade sites. Each site was evaluated and scored according to the following criteria: user convenience, functionality, operational impact, traffic impact, height/location of building, loss of green space/trees, soils, site services, constructability, expandability, capital costs, and RJH master plan interference. The recommended site, as of May 1999, was the Memorial Site.Opposition from the community continued. Public consultations specifically regarding the parkade issue were set up. The different stakeholders had varying issues concerning the parkade. Most, if not all, were not against the construction of the parkade per se. Issues centered more around site selection, the cost of subsidizing employee parking, lack of consistency with local and regional transportation strategies (i.e. carpooling, support for bicycling, bus pass subsidies), loss of green space/trees and the concern about money already spent on existing...

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