GOSHEN — The Goshen Traffic Commission approved additional parking for IU Health Goshen Hospital Thursday on the south side of a portion of High Park Avenue.
The Board of Public Works will now hear the Commission’s recommendation at its next meeting. The proposal would create approximately 20 new parking spaces along the south side of High Park Avenue, from the hospital’s main entrance west to Mayflower Place.
Street Department Commissioner Denny Long also requested the parking only be available daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., in order to cover the hospital’s busiest times while allowing a clear road for the street department if it would need to plow the street.
Mark Podgorski, Vice President of Hospital Operations, said IU Health Goshen made the request because the hospital’s available parking is already overflowing, decreasing the ease of access for their patients and patients’ families.
“If any of you have been around the hospital during the day, you know that we’ve grown to the point where parking can be an issue at times,” he said.
Originally, IU Health Goshen had requested 29 parking spaces beginning at High Park Avenue’s intersection with Main Street to Mayflower Place, but concerns about safety and maintenance became issues.
“It makes it pretty tight for me to get down through there,” Long said. “For me with a snow plow in the winter time, trying to keep that street open... is going to be difficult at best.”
“Plus your vision trying to see to get out of there (the hospital’s main entrance) is now blocked because you have cars parked on both sides of your driveway going in and out.”
Joe Dervin, resident and president of the area neighborhood association, voiced his concerns as well.
Dervin suggested hospital employees park in other areas and walk to the main campus, rather than requesting more parking space. Anita Yoder, another resident, added that hospital employees could carpool to work, cutting down on the number of spaces taken up by employee vehicles.
Dervin also said the request for additional parking was an issue of trust, after being told previously the hospital had the parking that it required.
The commission’s recommendation will be reviewed by the Board of Works, which will meet at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22 in the police and courts building, 111 E. Jefferson St.