GLEN ELLYN – Commuters looking to park in downtown Glen Ellyn will have another option within the next few months, thanks to village plans to construct a parking lot along Duane Street with the help of a Metra grant.
The design, construction and oversight contracts for the project total about $654,000. Most of that cost will be covered using $414,000 from a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Grant. Additionally, the village will pay about $240,000 from its own parking fund.
"We'd like to proceed as quickly as possible to get started on the project," Public Works Director Julius Hansen said. "(We're) really looking forward to it. It's going to be the best parking lot around, I think."
The 47-spot Duane/Glenwood Metra Parking Lot will be located on vacant land at 460 through 478 Duane St. The land was purchased by the village with the $851,810 CMAQ Grant in September 2012 for the purpose of constructing the commuter lot, which is part of the village's Comprehensive Downtown Plan.
The Glen Ellyn Village Board of Trustees approved a construction contract with Hoppy's Landscaping, Inc., and construction oversight agreement with Rempe-Sharpe and Associates at a meeting Sept. 9. Trustees also voted to increase an existing contract with Rempe-Sharpe for design services.
Construction is expected to begin mid-September and take about 60 days to complete, according to village records.
With this parking lot, Glen Ellyn residents will see the first use of design elements from the village's Streetscape Plan in the downtown area, including lighting fixtures, pavers, parkway trees, seatwalls and native landscaping, Planning and Development Director Staci Hulseberg said.
The parking lot will consist of permeable pavers, which will help with drainage in the downtown. The pavers also fit the plan's recommendation to develop a "sustainable parking lot prototype," according to village records.
Village Trustee Diane McGinley said she was concerned with the use of pavers as decorative elements on the sidewalk near the lot, saying it would be a hazard to pedestrians, especially those using strollers or wheelchairs.
"I do not believe this is a safe and effective method for our sidewalks," McGinley said.
However, trustees ultimately decided to approve a special use permit, variations and exterior appearance for the lot since the use of sidewalk pavers would be limited. This approval provides an opportunity for the village to pilot the material and test its durability and safety.
There is currently a waiting list of commuters hoping to get a parking space near the Metra tracks, Hulseberg said. The addition of this lot will help to alleviate that demand, and after 11 a.m on weekdays, the lot will be open to the general public.
The parking stalls in the new lot will be set at 60-degree angles, providing the highest number of spots possible, she said.