Veteran: Parking still an issue at McGuire VA Medical Center

Veteran: More than 1 year later and parking is still an issue at McGuire VA Medical Center
Published: Aug. 7, 2018 at 7:04 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 7, 2018 at 8:16 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Disabled veterans have been complaining for years about parking problems at the McGuire VA Medical Center.

A new parking deck was supposed to open in early 2018. That parking deck still isn't ready, and several veterans are frustrated.

Many disabled veterans who come to McGuire say they have to illegally park in fire lanes, on the curb or very far away.

Fulton Lovejoy joined the U.S. Army back in 2010. She worked stateside as a parachute rigger and in mortuary affairs until she injured her hip in 2012. She comes to McGuire for medical treatment a few times a month, and every time she says she is stressed about parking.

"Cars are literally stacked on each other, in the grass," Lovejoy said. "Sometimes I've moved the cone to drive up in areas where I'm not supposed to so I can park along with everyone else."

Earlier this year, the medical center created a gravel parking lot on the grounds to help ease the valet service line, but Lovejoy says it hasn't helped.

McGuire said the parking deck hasn't been completed because of weather delays. When it's done, the four-story garage will have 300 spots.

The grand opening for the new parking garage is set for next month with a ribbon cutting Sept. 12.

But even still that may not solve all of the problems.

"I honestly don't think this parking deck will be enough," Lovejoy said. "I think they are going to find that out. People are still going to park on the grass. Ultimately, there is too many people and not enough room."

McGuire said it had requested a second parking deck, but didn't go into detail about when or how that would happen.

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