Halifax hospital tries double-parking to add new spaces to busy lot

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A driver seeks a parking space at the Victoria General hospital in Halifax in this file photo. Starting next month, they could opt to double-park in one of the selected areas. (CBC - image credit)
A driver seeks a parking space at the Victoria General hospital in Halifax in this file photo. Starting next month, they could opt to double-park in one of the selected areas. (CBC - image credit)

A Halifax hospital has come up with a solution to a chronic parking shortage: it's inviting people to double-park in parts of its lots, adding dozens of spaces.

Jane Davies is head of Partners for Care, the business development arm of the QEII Health Sciences Centre. She said the double-parking won't leave people trapped inside the lot of the Victoria General hospital off South Park Street.

"We're excited about being able to provide upwards of 50 additional spots inside the parking lot at the VG, which on typical days can be at 100 per cent capacity between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.," she said Thursday.

"Essentially what we'll be doing is double-parking upwards of 50 cars, but we will have staff on site who can move a car if it has to be moved in the time frame the patient is inside at an appointment."

Staff will take car keys

Starting Sept. 7, when drivers arrive to a full lot at the hospital, an attendant from lot management company Indigo will give them the option to use a spot reserved for double-parking.

Submitted by Nova Scotia Health Authority
Submitted by Nova Scotia Health Authority

Davies said people will park their own cars and then give the keys to staff. Staff will "complete a short vehicle inspection" and keep the keys during the person's visit so that their vehicle can be moved if necessary to let another vehicle out.

It will cost the same as regular parking rates in the lot. The new rules will apply only to the two selected areas, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Optional service

Davies said Indigo staff will take COVID-19 precautions during the pandemic while operating the vehicles. They've taken out extra insurance to cover any accidents that happen while staff is operating the vehicle.

She said the approach has been used in Ottawa and St. John's, where it was found to be simple way to add parking without adding land.

Davies said a person who's worked on such a system has been hired to lead the Victoria General project and to train new staff.

"That gives us great comfort that we can make sure that customers, our patients, can feel safe and secure that we'll take care of their car," she said.

Davies said they will consider expanding the double-parking system to other hospital lots if everything goes well at the Victoria General.

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