Library, Libertyville agree on lot changes
After months of discussion, Cook Memorial Public Library District officials have come to terms with Libertyville village leaders about proposed changes to the parking lot at the Cook Park Library.
The deal calls for the one-way entrance on Brainerd Avenue to accommodate two-way traffic. That will allow the Church Street exit to close during certain special events in the downtown area, events that occupy that street and others.
"As I tell people, the good news is we have a vibrant downtown," library Director Stephen Kershner said. "But the bad news is we have a vibrant downtown."
The two agencies have been at odds over the lot's design since before the renovated and expanded library building reopened in January.
Village leaders approved the parking lot's design before construction began, but later requested changes to accommodate the weekly farmers market, the popular Libertyville Days festival and other events.
The library board had been reluctant to make changes, primarily citing motorist and pedestrian safety concerns.
As part of the agreement, cars leaving the library parking lot via the Brainerd Avenue exit will have to make a right turn to go north on Brainerd.
Library officials requested a right-turn-only exit there so cars leaving the library won't block cars entering the lot, Kershner said.
"They're trying to make it as easy for library patrons as possible," he said.
To make way for the widened driveway, a section of sidewalk along Brainerd will be removed, too.
The village will pay for the work.
Mayor Terry Weppler said the changes will allow the street events to continue in their traditional locations. He called the agreement "amicable."
Village officials are finalizing the project design. Library board approval is required, Kershner said.
The work could begin later this month or in August, he said.