Commentary: Kaweah Delta’s Newly Created Parking Taskforce

Kaweah Delta continues to plan for vital, life-saving health care services in support of this community’s needs. These plans include a greatly expanded emergency department, completing the fifth and sixth floors of the Acequia Wing for cardiology and neonatal intensive care services and expanding our operating room capacity, and building a new urgent care center in North West Visalia. In addition, we are now planning for, and will seek community support, to build a new acute care hospital to meet state-mandated earthquake requirements and to meet the increasing patient care demands placed upon Kaweah Delta. (The original hospital does not meet California’s stringent earthquake standards.)

These new health care services require that we plan for adequate parking. In that regard, I have established a parking task force, supported by expert consultative advice, to develop a master-parking plan for Kaweah Delta. This task force will study immediate and long-term parking needs, including study and action in the following areas:

  1. Acquiring, with the city’s assistance, the 106-space parking lot at the North East corner of Mineral King Avenue and Conyer Street.
  2. Developing an additional 55 parking spaces immediately to the West of the Kaweah Delta Medical Center Acequia Wing.
  3. Working with the City of Visalia to enhance utilization of the Acequia and Locust parking structures; both have a good deal of capacity which remains unused each day.
  4. Developing a valet service for patients and visitors to enhance their convenience in accessing services at Kaweah Delta Medical Center.
  5. Acquiring additional properties for parking including the study of the need for an additional parking structure in the future.
  6. Relocating a number of outpatient healthcare services away from the downtown Medical Center when proximity to the acute-care hospital is not necessary. For example; a number of our services are now located on our West Campus where parking is very adequate.
  7. Ensuring that our community knows of the many parking options available to them so that their access and convenience to parking is improved.

The results of the parking task force’s efforts will be presented to the Kaweah Delta Board for action as formal recommendations are formulated. Enhancing the parking provided to our community at Kaweah Delta is a major priority. We are aware that it is often difficult to conveniently park at Kaweah Delta either to receive services or to visit those who may be in the hospital. The location of the Medical Center in the center of Visalia is of great benefit to the community – but providing convenient parking is harder downtown than if we were located elsewhere. We are now actively addressing this issue and as we develop additional parking solutions, such as those outlined above, we will keep you informed about our progress.

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