By Brandi Makuski
City leaders are working on an agreement with Ministry St. Michael’s Hospital they believe will alleviate chronic parking problems in residential areas near the hospital.
Residents of Prais and Jersey streets, as well as Illinois Ave., approached city officials in August to say they’re left without on-street parking due to hospital employees and construction workers who “jockey” their vehicles in the two-hour parking zones throughout the neighborhood.
After a year of construction for expanding it’s emergency department, Ministry St. Michael’s is currently working with Ellis Construction to construct a new corridor along the hospital’s east side, ahead of constructing a new cancer wing.
At an Aug. 1 city plan commission meeting, city leaders ordered that construction vehicle parking would be limited to Illinois Ave. and Stanley St., and would not be allowed to park on Prais, Jersey or Illinois — but only during the construction of the new cancer center, which hasn’t begun yet.
Now, the two entities have devised a plan that city leaders believe will solve the problem, at least in part.
“We want to try and take those vehicles out of the residential area as much as possible,” Mayor Mike Wiza said at the Oct. 10 Board of Public Works meeting.
Wiza said the hospital is proposing to move construction vehicles to a metered parking area on Sims Ave., on the hospital’s south side. City crews would bag the meters, Wiza said, and allow only construction vehicles displaying special parking permits.
The hospital will compensate the city with the average revenue generated by those parking spaces — about $300 monthly, according to the Dept. of Public Works.
Wiza said the construction on the corridor is expected to last “about a month or two” longer.
City Attorney Angrew Beveridge is currently working on the agreement, Wiza said, and that document will be available for approval at the City Council’s regular meeting on Oct. 17.