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Does Downtown Glen Ellyn Need More Parking Spots?

The village adds seven more parking spots.

There are now more places to park in downtown Glen Ellyn, according to a statement from the village.  

The recently added seven new parking spots in front of the Glen Ellyn Civic Center, 535 Duane St., following a that also assessed the impact of switching some roadways from one-way streets to two-way in the central business district.  

I'm curious if you readers think parking is an issue in downtown Glen Ellyn. When I'm walking around downtown Glen Ellyn, I see the same cars circle and circle to land a parking spot directly in front of the store they wish to visit. OK, I have to admit I do this, too, (especially when I want my Starbucks fix). 

Do you think more parking would lead to a more successful downtown for business owners? I posed this question to some business owners, leaders in February and they all expressed the need for more parking. 

Beckie Nilles, owner of Urban Chic, located on Pennsylvania Avenue near Glen Oak Restaurant, said, "If people can't park they'll just leave." The conversation came after the intial proposal for a tax increment financing district (TIF) that would create funds for a parking deck.

Although, it might be years before a parking deck is installed do you think adding more street parking is beneficial?  

So, readers, what do you think about parking in downtown Glen Ellyn? Would you travel downtown more often if there was more parking? 

Carol Peterson Fontana June 05, 2012 at 03:12 PM
I have never had to leave the downtown area because of parking. I think that the lots that are available on the north side of the tracks could be better marked. I just found a new one a couple of months ago. Honestly its the one way streets that drive me nuts. When you drive from the south on Main, you must turn right and are pushed away from shopping. I don't always know exactly where the store is that I want to go to. I find myself driving in the maze of one-way streets.
J. Burket June 05, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Parking in the CBD has been a red herring since I moved here 18 years ago. Lack of parking means lack of parking in front of Starbucks or Marcel's. If we just had the desire and ability to walk a block or two to our destination, there are parking spots galore pretty much 24/7. But the mindset in GE thinks that because Naperville has a few and Wheaton has two and Elmhurst has thirty or forty, then certainly Glen Ellyn needs one or two. While I don't disagree that those are successful CBDs, our needs are nothing like theirs. Our footprint is smaller, our population is half or less of those communities, and we simply don't have the business to justify it. For 18 years, the village has talked and talked and talked about fixing this creaky old mess of a CBD . . . and it is just that. Talk. TIF or not, there will be zero revolutionary change in the CBD. Hell, they can't even make a simple decision re: two way streets. Report after report after report generated by traffic consultants . . . left on a lot of desk at the Civic Center to collect dust. No one in our village government wants to even consider making a change to our quaint and decaying little CBD. That will be shelved for another 5 or 6 years.
J. Burket June 05, 2012 at 03:37 PM
We need to spend $7-8MM on a 200 car parking deck like we need a hole in our collective heads. Other than giving cyclists a place to hill train or longboarders a place to descend, what would be the purpose? And ask yourself this, if it is built, it will certainly be at least two blocks away from Starbucks . . and Marcel's. Get off your #@$*&, Glen Ellyn, and learn to walk a block or two to your destination.
Samantha Liss June 05, 2012 at 04:33 PM
That's a good point, Carol. I must say, I find myself yelling from the backseat when friends or family are in town. They just can't seem to remember that north-south traffic does not stop after the train tracks on some thoroughfares.
Jim Hankes June 05, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I think people aren't aware of all of the possible parking areas. Spend $50k on a parking awareness campaign.
David June 05, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Would I travel downtown more often if there was more parking? More parking??? Parking for what? Look, I like and promote Glen Ellyn on a regular basis whenever I can but it's usually to discuss the good restaurants we have. I believe that the retail and shopping experience is rather weak/subpar when comparing it to other downtowns in the area (so why would there be a need for more parking? I think parking a night is currently okay for the small restaurants we have). G.E. is sure a fantastic place to live and a great place to grow up, but I really can't think of what stores bring people into its downtown. Not wanting the traffic and people coming through is fine - I believe many residents (especially ones who have been here for awhile) like and enjoy Glen Ellyn the way it is and don't want for example a GAP, Brooks Brothers, Banana Republic, and what have you to come into to town (National type retailers that would attract more business and traffic into town for everyone else). They prefer the little boutiques that for the life of me can't believe they make any money. They enjoy it being a "sleepy town" - and that's okay. My only request at this time would be ...How about bringing in a GAS STATION to the downtown area?!!!! Seems reasonable enough.....Until then, I'll keep giving my business to the fine restaurants we have and wonder how the little stores stay in business....
Thomas Luchinski June 06, 2012 at 12:58 PM
7 more parking spaces! That's reason to celebrate! Seriously people? Parking in the "CBD" is one of the biggest detractors to more people patronizing the local shops and restaurants. Look at our neighbors, Wheaton and Naperville. Their downtown areas are booming and a huge part of reason is their ample parking. Both town have more restaurants and more shops because it's easier to park. Come downtown on a Saturday or Sunday and you can forget about parking without doing laps. If there's a game at the high school, you're lucky to find a spot anywhere in town. Look at the number of open store fronts. Businesses are not interested in moving into town when foot traffic is sporadic and parking is a barrier. When the weather is nice, walking a few blocks is not an issue. However, in the rain or snow, who wants to shop or visit restaurants when they can't park close to their destination? Additional parking, whether a public lot or a parking deck, would increase revenues (no reason you can't meter spots - the town already does), increase sales tax receipts, make the village more desirable to new merchants and make the downtown area a more appealing place to visit. The Village needs to take the parking study they wasted money on and clean the windows at city hall. The Village Manager and his staff need only to walk down the street to see we need more parking. And a "gas station" in the downtown area? Really? We could build it next to a Walgreens.
Brad Rosley, CFP June 06, 2012 at 04:23 PM
I think GE would benefit from more parking near the two main business blocks on the north side of tracks and near Main street on the south side of tracks. If we had more successful businesses on the north side, there would be no where for potential customers to park. The train tracks are a real divider for parking. It seems to be a divider that people don't want to park on one side of the tracks and walk to the other side.
Carol Peterson Fontana June 06, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Wow, Thomas you apparently have not gone shopping in Naperville. It's hand-to-hand combat for parking spots. However, it does not keep people from going there. Naperville did not build the garages until they had the crowds and the turning point for them was to allow the National stores and restaurants into the downtown area. . In Glen Ellyn, I have never had to walk more than a block to get to a store. I agree with David about the small boutiques. Not interested. Only the business owners argue for more parking.

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