Construction of a new emergency room at Langley Memorial Hospital will result in a net loss of 25 parking spaces, but Fraser Health said there are still more than enough spots based on other communities’ standards.
Langley Township council considered a variance to allow the hospital to eliminate 156 parking stalls as part of the construction of the new expanded ER and an MRI clinic to be built into LMH over the next two years.
Many of those spaces are the ones closest to the hospital’s main entrance.
Most of the spaces will be replaced, as the hospital will add new stalls to the south of the main hospital building, closer to Fraser Highway.
However, 121 spaces are to be added after the construction and the elimination of 156, resulting in a net loss.
There are also 710 parking spaces farther from the hospital, east of 221A Street. Visitors, particularly those using wheelchair spaces, tend to park much closer to the hospital building.
Parking is already constrained as a considerable amount of the current main parking lot is being used for construction equipment for the new ER.
Fraser Health sent the Township a parking study which suggested that two of Langley’s nearest neighbours require far less parking for their hospitals.
With the planned changes to parking, Langley Memorial will have 145 more spaces than Abbotsford would require for a hospital, and 115 more spaces than Maple Ridge would, the study said.
The rebuilding and expansion of the ER will extend out from the current hospital building, across the road that currently cuts through the hospital grounds, and into what is now the main parking lot.
A lane off 221A Street will be retained for access to the back of the hospital and to nearby offices, but a new entryway to the south will also be added, giving access to a revamped main parking lot, and leading through the complex south to the future planned parking lot expansions.
Council approved the variance allowing the parking changes, but Township staff will also be looking into reviewing hospital parking requirements more generally. Councillor Eric Woodward asked that they report back to council, whether or not staffers believe changes to the current rules are needed.