Resident asks for better communication after car towed outside RGH

“A lot of people would say ‘Boo hoo, just pay your ticket and shut up’, but it’s the premise of how this was done that really upsets me more than anything.”

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When Catherine Tomczak walked out of Regina General Hospital with her 92-year-old father and saw her car wasn’t where she left it, she panicked thinking it had been stolen.

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That’s when she saw the orange signs posted on nearby trees along 14th Avenue, a warning to move your vehicle to make way for street sweeping or risk being towed. Rushing to make an appointment in time, Tomczak didn’t see them when she pulled up.

“I’m standing out there with my dad in his little walker, and your car is gone and you don’t know where to call,” she said in an interview on Friday, a day after her car crashed. breakdown. “On those orange signs, there’s no indication that, OK if your car is being towed, please call here or that’s where it will be. And so we had no idea.

Tomczak asked hospital security if they knew where his car was. They did not do it. She called the city, but said she couldn’t reach anyone. Eventually, she reached out to the Regina Police Department, who told her he would likely be within an eight-block radius of where he had been parked.

A family member was able to pick them both up and help her find her vehicle, which was about four blocks from where she left it. He was sitting there with a $125 bill.

But it’s not the note she’s challenging; it is the process that she has a problem with.

“It’s my fault that I didn’t see the sign. I will take responsibility that I parked there,” Tomczak said.

But she said the lack of communication is “terrible,” especially when you consider who else can land in her situation, an elderly person or someone from out of town who might not understand what’s going on. passed or who to call, or even someone caring for a sick and/or dying family member in the hospital. She said she would like to at least see a phone number on the orange signs so people know who to call.

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“I just can’t believe there isn’t a better protocol,” she said, adding concerns about what time of day they chose to scan that particular area. His car was towed between 3 and 4:30 p.m. Thursday and the city confirmed a sweep took place that afternoon.

But the City of Regina says it is already paying close attention to the area when it comes to street sweeping because it knows how disruptive it can be outside the hospital, where parking is already a rare commodity.

“We are very compassionate to the people around General Hospital and that is why we are proceeding as we do by spreading sweeping activities to a specific area over three days to do our best to minimize the impact on the street parking,” Tyler Bien, director of seasonal road operations for the city, said Friday afternoon.

“As we enter the area we put up lots of orange signs to try to make sure people notice them to try to avoid those situations.”

Bien said sweeping around the general is done one-third at a time. On Thursday, they did all avenues (College, 15th, 14th and so on) to keep alternate streets open for parking. But he said the sweeping needed to take place during office hours so they could get the support needed to clean the street, such as by-law officers.

He said they are also putting up larger signs at the three entrances to the hospital with a picture of the orange signs and a reminder to pay attention to dates and times as street sweeping will take place soon, and you could get a ticket. and be towed if your vehicle remains during this window.

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“But we are continually working with our communications arm to determine appropriate means of communication,” Bien said. “We are continually improving these processes, so…we may expand the process in the future to include different messages on the signs if appropriate in the area of ​​the application.”

Bien took the opportunity to remind residents that the Spring Street Sweep is back in full swing now that the weather has improved and to keep an eye out for orange signs. Schedules can be viewed on Regina.ca, where residents can also sign up to receive alerts.

Tomczak says she sent a letter to the mayor’s office and hopes to be called back.

“A lot of people would say, ‘boo hoo, just pay your ticket and shut up’, but it’s the premise of how this was done that really upsets me more than anything,” he said. she stated.

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