PUEBLO — For some residents and businesses near Parkview Medical Center, a recent parking conundrum has taken “frustrating” to a whole new level.
They say it’s because employees of a recently built Parkview Medical Center Outpatient Center are parking along the street close to their workplace, rather than a remote shuttle lot specifically built for them to use.
On and off for nearly six decades, Jeannie Vallejos has watched as the neighborhood surrounding her home on 13th Street evolved.
"My father bought this house 58 years ago,” Vallejos said.
Specifically, she's watched as nearby Parkview Medical Center just kept growing. and now, ever since the hospital's most recent expansion, she and her neighbors have had a problem.
"As long as that surgical center's been open. Over a year,” she said. "The problem is the parking."
She can't seem to access her house anymore, and she's pretty sure she knows why.
"The cars that park on this side... I see them at six o'clock in the morning,” Vallejos said. “And they go straight to that building."
It can make things tricky.
"I had to take my dog home from surgery, he's 40 pounds. And I had to park way over there, and carry him,” she said.
Vallejos is far from alone.
"C.A.C can't get their clients in there, because there's no parking for them,” she said.
“C.A.C.” is the Pueblo Child Advocacy Center, which provides a safe facility for the investigation of child abuse. But lately, the families they serve have had to take a hike to get there.
“The families end up parking several blocks away because we don’t have any parking on the streets nearby,” Pueblo Child Advocacy Center Executive Director Dena Rodriguez said. For her, the issue is concerning.
“Because of confidentiality for one,” Rodriguez said. “And then, we want to make sure they feel physically safe.”
She said families having to cross busy streets is anything but safe.
The solution sounds simple. Build a parking lot for the new hospital building, right? The problem is, Parkview already did.
“We do have a shuttle lot on Santa Fe that Parkview built,” Parkview Medical Center Spokesperson Racheal Morris said.
“They don’t use the parking lot,” Vallejos said. “I go by there every day for work, and there’s an empty lot there.”
Parkview officials say they know it’s an issue.
“There’s not a day that goes by that our leadership team isn’t cognizant of the fact that parking is an issue,” Morris said.
She said Parkview doesn’t want their employees taking up street parking when they have their own parking lot. But the hospital can’t do too much to punish employees who park on the street, since the city has jurisdiction over enforcement. Instead, they’re turning to incentives.
“On random days we’re giving out gift cards,” Morris said. “They could win gift cards to King Soopers, Albertsons.”
But for neighbors, they wish it didn’t have to come to that.
“I just think that I feel they’re being selfish,” Vallejos said. “I would like to see Parkview park at their parking lot.”