Most Of a Million Dollars

The province is wasting more money on a single-owner vehicle parking structure at General Hospital in Regina, when it could buy a bus for the cost of the the cursory dig and the project’s budget for 2022:

“The excavation is also not anticipated to strain the project’s allocated $750,000 budget for this year, as surveys were included in the planning.”

There’s a shuttle that travels between health facilities in Regina, stopping at parking lots, but the ridership is restricted to Sask Health Authority employees. If Regina Transit was offering the service instead, everyone going to or visiting the hospital would be able to ride it. Our city would get better transit, and the province wouldn’t be spending any additional money. And we could probably have the hospital there without constructing another stranded asset, which is what a parkade is when built during a climate crisis.


General Parking Woes

I’ve a simple solution to the parking problems at the General Hospital:

Do the opposite of what Mayor Fougere says.

“I think that the employer should be providing safe parking for their staff,” Mayor Michael Fougere said after a budget vote on Tuesday. “It’s just so obvious to me it’s painful to say it.”

The employer shouldn’t be the one providing safe parking, it’s the CITY the employer provides healthcare in, that should be providing safe transportation, and it’s so obvious that it’s painful for me to say it.

His Worship is doing a disservice by putting the focus on a parkade and away from his responsibilities. To meet the Mayor’s transit shortfall, the SHAuthority is providing a park & ride shuttle service at some hours of the day. This hasn’t eliminated the problems, in part because the shuttles are not useful to the general public who also needs to attend the hospital as patients or visitors. If the provincial money going to the staff-only shuttle went instead to Regina Transit, then fewer people would be parked as more would take a free & convenient bus to and from their home or their place of being parked.

The Mayor is being dishonest by focusing on a parkade. It’s not the best advice given to him, it appears to be another gift to the construction industry that he had close ties to in his previous profession outside of Council and the Mayoralty.

General Parking Problem

The Leader Post is calling for more single occupant vehicle infrastructure in already car-friendly Regina. A parkade at the General Hospital comes with the obvious problem that it costs a lot ($30,000+/stall), and displaces existing parking during its construction.

To fix that displacement, the presently half-hearted park-and-ride shuttle run by the Health Region could be fixed, so it runs at required hours to serve people working on shifts (24/7?), and free up enough spots on the streets for residents, and for staff who want to juggle their cars, cruising for parking every 2 hours.

This problem can also be traced to City Hall, where their support of an effective city Transit system is not visible. They’ve uploaded the cost of this service to the Province, who must then spend money on reinventing a transit system specifically for staff. This specialized and limited bus service isn’t efficient, because it doesn’t even let the public use it, so it runs empty.

An effective transit service would solve two problems. Staff would have a safe escort to their vehicles, and vehicles won’t have to crowd into the residential General Hospital neighbourhood.