Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wilmette Master Plan Has Negative Consequences for Library Parking, Drop Boxes, and Deliveries

Link to November 23 Chicago Tribune article, "Library objects to proposed Wilmette downtown master plan".

Excerpt: “It appears that our parking lot has been turned into a park and we’re not sure what’s happening to our alley,” said Cinda Axley, president of the library board, during a recent Plan Commission meeting. “Access for our patrons is foremost on our minds.”

The library hosts about 1,000 patrons per day, and “many of them are elderly or parents with strollers or young children,” Axley said. Drop-boxes for patrons and adequate alley space for deliveries would also be in jeopardy under the plan’s design, she said.

The current parking lot includes 51 parking spaces of the library’s and an additional 38 leased from the village. During busy hours or events, some patrons must park on the street or in a church lot across the street, she said.

In the proposed plan, parking would be limited to 55 diagonal spaces inside a U-shaped one-way street that would serve the library, Post Office and retail stores on the property bounded by Central Avenue, Wilmette Avenue and Green Bay Road. A 425-space parking garage would also support those uses, as well as Metra commuters.

In a letter to the village, Wilmette Public Library Executive Director Ellen Clark said the garage “does not meet our optimal capacity of 130 spaces.

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