UPMC Shadyside plans to ease parking woes

| Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011

UPMC Shadyside Hospital asked community residents this week what their major concerns were as it prepares its master plan for the Shadyside campus.

Residents said employee parking has tied up their streets to the extent they have a difficult time finding a place near their home to park.

They were among about 60 who represented the Shadyside, Friendship, Bloomfield and North Bellefield communities, who attended the meeting in the hospital, the first of three the hospital plans to hold with residents. The city requires the hospital to have a master plan completed by 2014.

"We've heard about the parking problem, and we intend on addressing it," said David Jaeger, principal with the Michigan-based architectural firm of Harley Ellis Devereau, which has been hired by the hospital to develop the plan.

Hospital officials said there are 2,300 parking spaces on the campus — and 3,500 full and part-time employees — and attempts are being made to encourage employees to park at hospital-controlled lots and garages off the campus, and use public transportation.

One example is the Towerview garage in Oakland where 300 employees will be assigned spaces at a monthly rate of $42. A shuttle bus would transport them to and from the hospital. On campus spaces cost $101 a month.

Some physicians and activities have been transferred to UPMC Mercy and UPMC Magee, to free up more on-campus spaces, said John Innocenti, hospital president.

One other parking possibility is the vacant Luna site, off Baum Boulevard and Cypress Street, in Bloomfield, where hospital officials believe 450 employee cars could be parked. But residents said they would prefer a garage there, since that would eliminate seeing a lot full of cars.

When a resident of Devonshire Street in Shadyside complained about the route trucks were using through his neighborhood, bringing supplies to the hospital's catering division, Innocenti said that would be corrected the next day.

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