GLEN ELLYN — The consultants charged with leading a streetscape and parking study of downtown Glen Ellyn presented a first draft of their findings and recommendations at an open house March 20, giving community members the opportunity to hear about potential plans that could include installing consistent streetscape elements and improving key intersections.
The village of Glen Ellyn was awarded a Community Planning Grant from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning to fund the study, which is meant to advance the streetscape and parking recommendations of the village's Downtown Strategic Plan.
A steering committee was formed for the project to oversee the planning process and work with village staff and consultants, which include Houseal Lavigne Associates, Gary R. Weber Associates Inc., and Walker Parking and Engineering Resource Associates.
Glen Ellyn residents had the opportunity to previously share their views of downtown through online questionnaires available at the study's website, www.hlplanning.com/dnn/glenellyn.
The study draft presented March 20 and available online describes what features exist in downtown Glen Ellyn and how the area could be improved.
The study divides the downtown into three areas: urban core, urban transitional and urban residential, with slightly different recommendations for each area.
For example, in the urban core area, or the primary retail area, the preliminary recommendation is to install porous brick pavers near the streetside of the sidewalk and grates for existing and potential new trees. These changes will be scaled back in the urban transitional and urban residential areas.
Key intersections include Main Street and Hillside Avenue, Pennsylvania and Forest avenues, Pennsylvania and Prospect avenues, Park and Crescent boulevards, Pennsylvania and Glenwood avenues, Crescent Boulevard and Glenwood Avenue, Duane Street and Prospect Avenue, and Crescent Boulevard and Prospect Avenue.
Improvements to these intersections could include curb extensions, additional landscaping, an identity feature to enhance the downtown character, paver art and gateways to announce the primary approaches into downtown.
The study also includes other potential enhancements to the downtown streetscape, such as mid-block crossings, portable outdoor dining, alleyscape and Prairie Path improvements, sustainable landscaping, site furnishings and streetlight standards.
Estimated costs of recommended improvements to both sides of a typical 400-foot block are $483,180 in the urban core, $318,300 in the urban transitional area and $151,500 in the urban residential area.
Some parking recommendations for the downtown include seeking out additional opportunities for shared parking between the village and private groups, regularly assessing the village's policy of free on-street parking and improving signage for off-street lots.
Overall, the study found the current parking supply is meeting existing demand and will continue to do so, especially if steps are taken to improve the accessibility and visibility of existing parking.
Following the public open house, the study steering committee is expected to meet in mid-April to discuss the public feedback, said Dan Gardner, principal associate of Houseal Lavigne Associates. A final report will then be presented to the Village Board after new members are seated following the April 9 elections.