As construction on Washington Street through downtown Naperville wraps up, some are saying two parking spots along the well-traveled road may need to be eliminated.
Repaving and restriping work on a 1.2-mile stretch of Washington between Osler Drive and School Street is set to be finished by the end of this week or early next week, said Bill Novack, director of transportation, engineering and development.
Since construction began Sept. 9, parking has been prohibited at all spaces in the work zone, including the two council member David Wentz brought into question Tuesday night, which are on the west side of Washington north of Van Buren Avenue and south of the post office.
Wentz said those two parking spots cause a bottleneck by requiring all traffic to merge into one southbound lane before Van Buren and making it difficult for drivers to make right turns.
The city last considered removing the spots in 2004, but met strong opposition from downtown business owners, Novack said. Now, with the $800,000 repaving of Washington set to be complete for the first time in 13 years, Wentz said he wonders "has the time come to retire the two spots?"
The city plans to renew conversations about the parking spaces with downtown merchants Monday at the next meeting of the Downtown Naperville Association. If business owners reverse previous concerns and favor eliminating the two spaces, the city council's transportation advisory board could consider their removal in November before possible city council action.
Council member Paul Hinterlong, who lives in the neighborhood west of downtown, said he is glad removing the spots is being considered because he has begun turning west off Washington farther north at Benton Avenue or Spring Avenue to avoid delays getting on to Van Buren.
Council member Doug Krause said something needs to be done now to ease congestion in the area of Washington and Van Buren, especially as a half-block stretch of Van Buren from the entrance to the parking deck to Main Street now is one-way westbound to accommodate construction of the Main Street Promenade East development.
"That's going to be a bottleneck," Krause said.