LMH workers balk at pay parking

Hospital workers using Langley School District lot, driving those employees out, says Councillor Kim Richter

Parking problems in Murrayville are growing worse.

Following a number of near-misses, the Township spent $50,000 to erect a fence along the centre median of Fraser Highway to deter people dashing across the four lanes between Langley Memorial Hospital and the vacant lot formerly occupied by municipal hall.

The jaywalking has all but stopped, but now, Township Councillor Charlie Fox claimed in a motion, some LMH employees are balking at paying the parking fee at the hospital. They park their cars in residential neighbourhoods where two-hour parking limits were imposed to discourage use by people who do not live in the neighbourhood.

Some employees, said Councillor Kim Richter, are now parking in the Langley School District offices parking lot, driving out those employees who are now leaving their vehicles in the Blair Rec Centre parking lot.

That poses another problem, Richter pointed out. Some pool users, including her husband, Bob, who is recovering from hip replacement surgery, need the facilities as they recover but a long walk from their cars to the centre can be an impediment to that recovery.

“We have a really bad problem now,” Richter said.

Council will ask the heads of the bylaw enforcement and fire department to discuss the issue with Fraser Health Authority and LMH staff.

According to the health authority, LMH staff who are enrolled in the parking pass program pay $10.28 every two weeks, or $267 annually.

Roy Thorpe-Dorward, who speaks for the FHA, said that there is also a daily rate of $4.50 for staff who are employed on a casual basis, do not drive every day, or are on the waiting list for a pass.

Thorpe-Dorward said that there are approximately 150 hospital employees on the wait list. At present, the waiting time to get on the list is a little over one year.