Veterans ticketed because of restricted street parking around Denver VA Hospital

DENVER - Parking restrictions on streets around the Denver Veteran's Affairs Hospital mean thousands of dollars in tickets for patients and employees.

On a designated street sweeping day, on roads around the hospital, 7NEWS found dozens of people unaware of the restrictions and many who were ticketed. Most of the people we spoke to were veterans or hospital workers.

"Just came out and there's a ticket saying there was street sweeping today," said veteran Daniel Schwarz. "You think they would put cones out or something more visible."

While the city profited from the many tickets, it said a driver was unable to get street sweeping done in front of the hospital on Clermont Street near 9th Avenue because of all of the parked cars.

Denver Public Works said there are no plans to end street sweeping restrictions around the hospital.

"Denver's street sweeping program plays a critical role in keeping the City’s streets, air and water clean," said Nancy Kuhn, with the department of Public Works. "Street sweeping helps the City meets air and water quality requirements. Every year, Denver street sweeping crews sweep more than 100,000 lane miles and collect more than 40,00 cubic yards of dirt and debris that would otherwise go into our air and water."

7NEWS also asked the VA about the problem. Several months ago, our investigations revealed that a parking shortage at the hospital was putting patients' safety in jeopardy.

After the stories, the VA put changes in places to provide more parking. Spokesman Dan Warvi says the hospital is continuing to open new lots, but there's nothing it can do when it comes to street parking.

"We don't have any control over that," Warvi said. "We do try to remind our veterans. For example, today I have our overhead paging people, every hour or two hours, reminding veterans that there's street sweeping here today."

Warvi said he's reached out to Denver Public Works about scaling back parking restrictions around the hospital.

The city confirms to 7NEWS that starting in September, 180 parking meters in the area will go from 2-hour to 3-hour parking, and in two other stretches in the area, 60 more spots with a two-hour limit will have no limit.

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