Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Memorial Hospital Parking

One of the  complaints about downtown Carbondale is the lack of free parking. I happened to notice that the parking garage on the north side of the Memorial Hospital campus has several signs on it offering free parking. Since it says that patients and visitors are to park on the first floor and the edifice has several levels, I would assume that means the upper levels are free for people visiting downtown to use.

While a very nice gesture, it fails to address what people actually want when they complain about the lack of parking in downtown. What people actually mean is that they want free parking located conveniently to the place they want to visit.  SIUC has a similar problem as people, especially students, have complained about the lack of parking on campus for a couple of decades, ignoring the acres of parking available south of the Arena. It takes more walking or scheduling to use the Arena parking and then get to the main campus than most people willingly invest.

Same problem with Memorial Hospital. Though not as far away, it is still about 3 blocks away from the C'dale square and several more from other businesses on S. Illinois. Your average downtown shopper is not going to park and walk a minimum of three blocks to get to stores. Far easier to go to the mall or one of the spots on the east or west side of town with ample parking.

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