Patients and visitors to The Queen's Medical Center can no longer self-park at the hospital's closest and busiest garage. It's gone 100 percent valet.
The new parking rules went into effect New Year's Day, but the change hasn't been reflected on either the hospital's website or Facebook page so patients and visitors are finding out about it when they arrive on site.
And that's causing confusion for some, who say the new parking set-up doesn't make sense.
There are signs about the change posted at both the hospital entrance and the Miller Street garage. But people who aren't expecting the new set-up find themselves forced to turn around -- even if they do want to valet park -- because the d rop off isn't at the garage itself, it's at a separate tunnel entrance accessed from the hospital's main driveway off Punchbowl.
Kelli Keawe, whose family member checked into the hospital on December 21 and who she periodically visited through January 2, said no one at the hospital warned them about the change.
"We weren't even told. And all of a sudden, they just cut us off," she said.
The change has resulted in some trying to turn around along Miller Street. Some drivers are even turning around in the emergency lot meant for ambulances.
"A lot of people were confused. Some people got lost," said Keawe.
With validation, valet costs $5 for 24 hours. There is still self-parking at three other garages: Physician's Office Buildings 1, 2 and 3 -- but patients and visitors say there are fewer stalls available now that the Miller Street garage is out of the mix.
"They told us if we want to self-park use POB 1 or 2 - and I told them that is almost a 20-25-minute walk. What about the people with wheelchairs, what about the people with walkers? It's an inconvenience to all of us," said Keawe.
Paula Yoshioka, the Queen's Health Systems senior vice president of corporate development, said in a statement to Hawaii News Now that the change "will allow greater access and ease for our patients and visitors when coming to The Queen's Medical Center.
"Transitioning the Miller garage into 100 percent valet enables us to accommodate over 200 more vehicles at any given time. We apologize for any inconvenience. With our increased volumes at Punchbowl, we must now manage on-campus parking in a way that maximizes the availability of parking for our patients and visitors."