THE lack of car parking at Maroondah Hospital has again been thrust into the spotlight with nearby residents lodging a petition calling for parking restrictions in their street.
Residents of Morinda Street in Ringwood East lodged the 54-signature petition with Maroondah Council calling for traffic congestion and noise concerns to be addressed as "the safety and well-being of our residents is being compromised".
The street has Maroondah Hospital at one end and Tintern Grammar School at the other.
At a meeting last Monday, the council voted to implement a parking solution in the street, with two-hour parking restrictions on one side of the road and new speed humps.
Council officers said hospital staff used the street for parking, raising concerns about the limited space available at the hospital itself. The Weekly first reported on the hospital's parking issues in May.
Cr Paul McDonald said once again responsibility was falling on the council to solve the hospital's parking problems. "The question is - is the state government going to do anything about it?"
Eastern Health executive director at Zoltan Kokai said Maroondah Hospital had more than 550 car spaces available and staff used a separate section of the multi-level car park to ensure space elsewhere for visitors and patients.
"The hospital is considering its options on additional car parking resulting from its [upcoming] redevelopment."
One Morinda Street resident who signed the petition told the Weekly she had trouble reversing out of her driveway daily due to the parked cars.
Rowena, who did not want her surname published, lives near the hospital and said it was only a matter of time before she dented a parked car. "Numerous times I have to reverse out the wrong way and do a U-turn just so I can get out. We pay rates - we deserve access to our property."
She said the school end of the street was just as congested from the school's P-plate drivers who parked there and the buses.
Tintern's deputy principal Peter Buckingham said he had met residents and understood their concerns. "We are as interested as them in safe traffic on the street," he said.
He said previous issues of buses waiting in the street had been resolved but did admit that in the second half of the year there was a higher number of P-plate cars parked outside the school.
The council estimates traffic improvement changes to Morinda Street will cost about $55,000.
Director of operations and infrastructure Trevor Welsh said the council estimated the new parking restrictions would be operational within four weeks. He said the council did not have a timeframe for works to install the speed humps but residents would be notified beforehand.
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