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updated: 5/31/2012 1:28 PM

Glen Ellyn unveils first downtown parking changes

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Glen Ellyn residents stopping to pay a bill at the Civic Center won't have to back their cars into parallel parking spots anymore.

They're now able to pull right into new diagonal spaces -- one of the recommendations of a downtown traffic study the village recently implemented.

A total of 18 diagonal parking spaces were newly striped last week in front of the village's headquarters at 535 Duane St., increasing the number of parking stalls by seven. Officials say the reconfiguration will improve safety and convenience for visitors.

The 18-month traffic study presented to the village board this spring also presented options for converting the downtown's current one-way street configuration to two-way in order to improve flow.

The conclusion: either the current system or a new configuration would work, according to the study's author, Kenig, Lindgren, O'Hara, Aboona, Inc., a traffic and transportation planning and engineering consultant.

And while a 2009 village-adopted downtown strategic plan recommends conversion to two-way streets, village officials have indicated that change shouldn't take place until they figure out what to do about a potential loss of parking that could result from the conversion to two-way streets.

So they're waiting for the results of another study -- this one to analyze downtown streetscape and parking -- which is expected to make recommendations for locations of parking garages in the downtown.

The downtown plan previously identified five potential parking garage locations, of which the village would likely select as many as two.

The village received a $50,000 grant from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning to fund the study, which is being done by Houseal Lavigne Associates, Gary Weber Associates, Walker Parking Consultants and Engineering Resource Associates. It is expected to be complete in the next six to eight months.

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