Employee parking changes raise concerns at Greensboro hospital

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A parking deck fire at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro is sparking a larger conversation about employee parking concerns.

Wednesday morning the Greensboro Fire Department responded to a fire at the parking deck on Tankersley Drive. Cone Health officials say two cars were destroyed and five others were damaged.

While crews investigated and made initial repairs, nearly 400 parking spaces were blocked off. Cone health says as repairs continue, it expects to reduce that number to 150 parking spaces.

The president of Moses Cone Hospital, Preston Hammock, says this week they've had to shift employees to other parking lots, which may have forced people to park illegally, but those cases were isolated.

A hospital employee, who wants to remain anonymous, says the parking problems started before the fire.

"Oh, it's a daily issue that we are having to park behind other cars or parking on the street. I've been on the street before, and you are at risk of getting a ticket if you do," a Cone Hospital employee said.

In February, more changes are expected to impact employee parking.

On Feb. 3, the employee lot on Elm Street, also referred to as Parking Deck C, will transition into a patient and visitor lot in preparation for the new Women's and Children's Center opening on Feb. 23.

The hospital plans to open a satellite parking lot at the current Cone Health Women's Hospital less than three miles away.

Cone Health tells FOX8 it will shuttle 280 employees between the satellite parking lot and hospital. Those employees will be compiled of the newest team members.

"I'm hopeful that it will get better, but currently we are not so happy about the new accommodations of having to park in a parking lot further away from the hospital and then take a shuttle to the hospital," a Cone Hospital employee said.

Hammock says the hospital hopes to eventually phase out the satellite parking, but this is the best solution for their current situation.

"I would love to eliminate the satellite parking. I think our ideal scenario is to have it all right here on campus, but we want to be very intentional about where we put that because our focus on this campus is to expand our clinical needs," Hammock said.

In the meantime, everyone will need to make adjustments.

"We're hopeful that it will solve the problem, but I think initially we are going to have to all adjust and shift. Maybe even get into work a lot earlier, so that you can get across the street and get to your designated space," a Cone Hospital employee said.

The hospital did recently open a new employee lot on Elm Street across from the parking deck.

Employee lots are not assigned and employee parking is free.

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