Goshen News, Goshen, IN

January 29, 2013

Goshen board OKs temporary hospital parking plan

By ROGER SCHNEIDER
THE GOSHEN NEWS

GOSHEN — A compromise has been reached that will allow hospital employees to park along High Park Avenue.

At Monday’s Board of Public Works and Safety meeting, Mayor Allan Kauffman proposed the compromise to create up to 22 temporary parking spaces from the hospital’s main entrance on High Park, east to Woodward Place. Last week the administration of IU Goshen Health had asked for the parking spaces on a permanent basis to accommodate the growing use of the hospital’s outpatient service. After opposition from the neighborhood organization, the board voted against the parking.

The new proposal was approved by the board Monday. The agreement will allow parking on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until June 30.

“It would give us a little time to implement our next action plan,” said Mark Podgorski, vice president of hospital operations.

That action plan will likely include a pedestrian/bicycle trail that will extend from the hospital, through Goshen College to the parking lots behind health care offices on the east side of South Main Street and just south of the hospital. The intent, according to Podgorski, is to create a pathway that allows hospital employees to safely walk from the remote parking lots to the hospital.

Joe Dervin, who lives on Woodward Place and is president of the neighborhood association, said his group is in favor of the temporary parking plan.

“It is an acceptable agreement now, because we know it will be temporary,” Dervin said.

At the Jan. 15 meeting, the neighborhood group opposed the parking because that proposal called for permanent parking spaces.

Kauffman, who lives in the neighborhood and often walks more than a mile to City Hall to work, urged more hospital employees to walk to work to help alleviate the parking crunch.

“I would think you could get a lot of your colleagues to walk to work,” Kauffman told Podgorski.

In other action, the board:

• Allowed Mattern’s deli to close off three parking spaces on the south side of West Washington Street Friday for First Friday events.

• Approved an electric license for Jerry Burt Jr. of Burt Electric, Goshen.

• Asked Michael Crume for more documentation of a water leak at 615 Mercer Ave. before granting relief from a sewer bill.

• Held public hearings for alleged building code violations. An order against Ronald Davidhizar for problems at a house at 513 N. Fifth St. was lifted because it was determined he had made adequate progress on fixing the violations. A similar order against Jared and Kaylene Yoder, owners of a house at 414 E. Lincoln Ave., was upheld and the board voted to move the issue to the court system for enforcement.