The Parking Thing

If you click here you’ll go to an archives listing of letters to the editor regarding the “parking thing.” Here’s the latest from The Confectionary owner Tom Smith, in a response to another person’s support for using half the parking lot at North Second and Locust for a town square :

2. He states that only 20-25 parking spaces would be eliminated from the 1,100 spaces in the plan area. This is misleading. The lot has 52 spaces, plus two handicapped ones. That is half the lot that would be eliminated. There is already a perception of a lack of parking. To eliminate half the lot for 365 days a year would heighten that perception.

Actually, it’s Mr. Smith who is misleading people. Why does he keep leaving out the part about the parking being replaced? Every single one of the two dozen parking slots will be recovered when they change the Locust Street parking from parallel to angled, which reportedly will be done first. Nobody will have to walk any farther than they do now.

One of the tasks given the Hitchcock Design Group was to deal with transportation and parking issues in the DeKalb Revitalization Plan, and they did. They are the same organization that designed Naperville’s Main Street Promenade and River Walk, the River Corridor Master Plan in St. Charles, new streetscapes in LaGrange and Champaign, and “green” undertakings in Chicago. They’re not rubes. They are top-tier land planners and landscape architects. They took care of the parking. People who are signing petitions because they are afraid that the city is eliminating parking either haven’t looked at the plan or have their own reasons for trying to sabotage it.

In fact, the long-term plan is at least to double the number of parking spaces convenient to retail areas. Go here to see a graphic representation of the proposed new parking. Once you’ve seen it, you will have a hard time understanding the “Save Our Parking” campaign. Perhaps it will strike you as somewhat bizarre, as it does me.

Here’s the latest plan draft from the ReNew DeKalb website.