Two parking garages and streetscape improvements could be in downtown Glen Ellyn's future.
A consultant has been hired to evaluate those options, funded through a $50,000 grant awarded to the village this month from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
The study would take a closer look at some of the recommendations of the village's downtown strategic plan, adopted by the village board in October 2009. Its aim is to better direct people to parking and the train station, while also establishing a "vibrant pedestrian-friendly downtown."
Building two garages would help reach a goal of providing between 300 and 500 new commuter parking spaces in downtown Glen Ellyn sought by Metra officials, according to the village's CMAP grant application.
The 2009 downtown plan identified five potential future parking garage locations, of which the village would select two.
But there may not be political support for a garage on potential sites because it involves the acquisition of private property not currently for sale, according to the village.
Last year, the village hired Kenig, Lindgren, O'Hara, Aboona, Inc., a traffic and transportation planning and engineering consultant, to examine changing the downtown's one-way streets to two-way in order to improve flow. Recommendations from that traffic study are expected in the next few weeks.
The traffic study will help determine where the parking garages might go, said Village Manager Mark Franz.
The planned streetscape plan also will recommend potential locations for bike lanes and racks, street furniture, decorative pavers, landscaping and signage. The plan will also look at possibly widening sidewalks.
The village board is expected to select a consultant by Jan. 1. Once recommendations come in, a public informational meeting with residents and business owners will be held to provide input, Franz said.
The architectural review commission and village board will also provide feedback.
Potential downtown improvements could be partially funded in the next fiscal year by setting aside some funds in the capital projects fund, Franz said.
But down the line, funding for downtown projects could be provided through a proposed tax increment financing district centered in the central business district.
Such a district could bring in between $16.5 million and $34.5 million to fund redevelopment and public works projects, according to a feasibility study by Ehlers and Associates, the village's TIF consultant.
A public information meeting to discuss the proposed TIF is scheduled for Oct. 11, and a joint review board of other governmental taxing bodies is set for Nov. 17.
The village board could consider granting final approval in February.