BY THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
Can you please tell me why Blessing Hospital does not have a parking garage? I find it odd that in a time of going green and being environmentally friendly, they are putting up parking lots all around the hospital taking up beautiful green grass and replacing it with concrete lots rather than "building up."
Blessing Hospital has built two employee parking lots in the past couple of years -- one at the northwest corner of Ninth and Oak and one at the northwest corner of 11th and College.
Jerry Jackson, vice president of physical resources and engineering, says the hospital has considered building a parking garage but found it to be cost prohibitive.
"The organization has certainly evaluated the parking decks in the past, most recently with the facility expansions under way, and the bottom line is from a cost analysis perspective, it's more cost effective to build flat surface parking," Jackson said. "Without factoring in land costs, just from a pure construction perspective, a parking space in a deck is going to cost you three to four times more, and it could be higher than that.
"That's not to say in the future we won't revisit it, but there are no immediate plans for a parking deck at Blessing."
On the southeast and southwest corners of 36th and State, there are political signs. I thought this ground belonged to the state of Illinois, and no political signs can be put on state, county or city property. Please clarify this.
Twenty-four political signs can be seen on the two corners. The triangular lot on each corner, which buts up against residential properties on Holford Drive to the west and Meadow Circle to the east, is owned by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Traffic at the intersection of 36th and State is now controlled by stoplights in each direction, but until 1975, drivers headed east along State could head south on to 36th Street -- which also is Ill. 96, a state highway -- as part of a big sweeping turn.
State law says that political signs are not allowed to be posted on public property, including any street corner of right-of-way between a road and a sidewalk.
City Engineer Jeff Steinkamp said he had received complaints about large political signs on those corners and contacted the Illinois Department of Transportation in September. The response he received from an IDOT official was that the department's policy is to leave political signs on rights-of-way alone unless:
º they interfere with a sight distance
º they are a safety problem
º or they are in the way of mowing operations.
A law that took effect on Jan. 1, 2011, essentially lets homeowners post political signs year-round and prevents municipalities from regulating when campaign signs can go up.
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