For months, many neighbors have been attempting to get actual numbers of cars that drive to Providence’s campus each day. Providence Hospital staff have been reluctant to give actual numbers. Reports of cars arriving at their campus are given as percentages and ratios, 1.25 per 1000 square feet of campus space, or, .78 cars per 1000 square feet of gross campus area.
Each time there is a discussion about reducing the number of Single Occupancy Vehicles driven by employees to their main campus, the numbers are reported as a percentage, rather than an actual figure.
I sat down with a napkin and the internet and here’s what I’ve come up with . . .
Providence has over 3000 employees (67% drive alone to work, and doctors do not count as employees). Providence has over 1000 doctors (some in-house, some outpatient in the Professional Plaza). It’s highly doubtful that doctors travel to work on their bike or by bus or train, thus I used 90% as an estimate of drive alone to work. Providence has 485 beds and they are probably an average of 75% full….to be conservative. Therefore, visitors to the main hospital to see sick loved ones each day might number 364.
The website for the Professional Plaza on Hoyt Street lists 160 doctors who see patients there. A conservative estimate is that each doctor sees 3 patients per hour in our modern times and sees 7 hours of patients per day, including visits to lab and imaging, etc. That turns out to be a crazy number like 3,360 patients per day. Let’s just estimate that some of them don’t drive a car and that outpatients drive alone at the same rate as the hospital employees. Still, that’s 2,251.
Add: 2,010 + 900 + 364 + 2,251 = 5,525 cars
And, honestly, my back of the napkin estimates are pretty conservative. I’d welcome a correction of my numbers by any Providence official. Please let me know what figures to use.
No wonder we are feeling the pinch on our streets. No wonder we are having problems with cut-through traffic and the like, in all directions radiating from Providence. To the north in the Rose City Park neighborhood. To the north in the Hollywood neighborhood. To the east and the south in the North Tabor neighborhood. And, to the west in the North Tabor and Laurelhurst neighborhood.
No wonder it feels like Glisan is a freeway and 47th is the on-ramp.
Please consider writing a letter describing your personal experience with navigating around Providence or your life as the neighbor of this institution. Address the letter to Douglas Hardy, Land Use Services . . . “To comment, you may write to Douglas Hardy at 1900 SW Fourth Ave., Suite 4500, Portland, OR 97201. You can also fax your comments to me at (503) 823-5630.”
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