MARYLAND

Walter Reed Medical Center patients say parking is hard to find

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Jimmy Evans, who works at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, says parking is tough.

"They want everyone to commute together." Evans explained.

"You have almost twice as many personnel as you do parking spaces," added Terrance Gomes, who commutes from Silver Spring.

Gomes says he has to leave his home at 6 a.m. to be at work by 7:30.

According to WTOP, the parking problem is so bad patients have a hard time finding a spot. 

Transportation coordinator Ryan Emery told WTOP there are about 3,500 spaces dedicated to staff. But there are close to 12,000 staffers on the whole installation.

"It's safe to assume that garage would fill up by noon and that patients may have had a hard time and spilled out to other garages,"Emery explained.
 
To fix the problem, security officers have been patrolling the grounds to make sure staff members are not parking in patients' spots.

Ali Coffey, a patient and veteran, commutes from King George when she has appointments.

"Driving here is not very fun, but parking is not too bad." Coffey said. "It's easier to take the Metro..."

The commute is more challenging for Gomes, who says he moved to Silver Spring to be closer to work.  He says it still takes him too long to get to the medical center, which is only nine miles from his home.

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