Calgary

Parking at Calgary's Foothills hospital 'chaotic' due to construction

Some patients say construction of a new parking lot at Foothills hospital is creating a lot of problems getting to the emergency room or their appointments and there doesn't seem to be an easy solution in sight.

Patient advocacy group says project causing stress as winter approaches

The parking lot in front of the Foothills hospital began its transformation into a four-storey parkade recently. (Colleen Underwood/CBC)

Some patients say construction of a new parking lot at Foothills hospital is creating a lot of problems getting to the emergency room or their appointments and there doesn't seem to be an easy solution in sight.

The parking lot in front of the hospital in Calgary's northwest began its transformation into a four-storey parkade recently.

It's a long-term project that's making it more difficult in the short term for people like Diana Pollock.

"It's chaotic up there," Pollock told CBC News.

She's had to circle around for a place to park to take her dad to emergency.

Diana Pollock, right, says getting her father to the emergency at Foothills hospital is a lot more difficult since the parking lot construction began. (Colleen Underwood/CBC)

"All the lots say they're all full," she said.

"He's not walking very well obviously, so for someone who is handicapped, this is impossible."

A patient advocate group says it's also hearing about the added stress of finding a spot or having to park far away.

Angelica Martin with the Open Arms Patient Advocacy Society says it is frustrating, especially with winter on its way.

"Many of these patients who are having to park further and further away as we get closer to winter months, they might be exposed to elements that exacerbate an already existing illness or exposing them to potential injury having to cross icy or snowy walkways getting to the hospital," Martin said.

The project is expected to take about 3 years to complete. (Colleen Underwood/CBC)

Alberta Health Services says hospital users have new, temporary parking options.

Spokesperson Michael Suddes says they've provided the same number of spots but in four alternate lots as well as several drop off zones.

"The idea is to pick the right parking lot that's closest to the right building they can get to," Suddes said.

He also encourages people who have time, to access their maps online that explain the new layout, before they head to the hospital.

The project is expected to take about three years to complete.

With files from Colleen Underwood

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