Reporting Nick Janes
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Disabled veterans say they have been having trouble finding parking at, of all place, the Mather VA Hospital.
Before Alan Hart’s last appointment, the disabled vet says he had to park in a handicapped space too far from the Mather VA’s front door.
“Since it was a Saturday, I had to walk around the building to get over to the main building over here,” Hart said.
Hart, who gets around OK, says it’s more than just an inconvenience for his fellow vets in worse shape.
One vet told CBS13 off-camera that he shows up two hours before his appointment just to find a parking spot and make it inside on time.
“I’m concerned about the guys in the wheelchairs, the motorized wheelchairs, the scooters. They gotta come from a great distance over here,” Hart said.
The hospital lost 1 in 5 parking handicapped spaces to a parking garage project. The 32 spaces they have exceed the number required by law.
Still, Chief Engineer Kevin Maxson calls parking a critical issue. He says it’s taken five years for the government to fund the new garage, and for construction to begin.
The garage is schedule to open in early November and will increase the number of spots from 32 to nearly 50.
In all, there are four active projects at the hospital, with several more in planning.
All of this construction is making it harder for disabled vets to get around right now, but in the end, Maxson says it’ll be worth the wait.
“Ultimately, it’s for his and every veteran’s benefit.”