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Blocked access to Lions Gate Hospital parking raises concern

City staff, contractor meet to ensure access to Lions Gate after public flags issue
Road construction on 15th St in North Vancouvewr temporarily blocked access to Lions Gate Hospital’s main parking lot at times this week. | Paul McGrath / North Shore News

Patients and visitors at North Vancouver’s Lions Gate Hospital say they’re not impressed that construction on a nearby apartment tower effectively blocked access to the hospital’s main parking lot and entrance for periods of time this week.

Pene Hollingworth said she drove from Maple Ridge to Lions Gate on Wednesday to help a family member who was in the hospital’s emergency department. But Hollingworth said when she arrived, she discovered access to the main parking lot was blocked by nearby construction crews who were working on 15th Street.

“I stopped and asked them where one could park,” she said, but got no helpful response.

After discovering she couldn’t access the hospital from either entrance on 15th Street, Hollingworth said she circled the neighbourhood multiple times before finally parking underground at a grocery store a few blocks away.

“I paid an enormous amount to park for two hours,” she said, adding her handicapped decal didn’t do her any good.

“Fortunately, I’m mobile,” she said, “but if someone was on a walker it would be awful.

“It’s not acceptable for a major hospital like that.”

Vancouver Coastal Health acknowledged there was an issue accessing the parking lot at LGH this week.

According to a statement from the City of North Vancouver, construction work related to utility upgrades for a rental housing project, which started Feb. 12, was the cause of the disruption, which lasted for about 20 minutes at a time.

Once the city began receiving calls, however, city staff, the contractor and the hospital’s facilities manager met to address the issue.

According to the city, ongoing meetings have been arranged with hospital facilities staff to address the issue of access to the parking lot before work continues in the area.