Friday, October 25, 2013

Parking Lot Project Underway!

It would be impossible not to notice the construction being done on parking lots around the Library if you have visited the Library or driven by on Route 59! The pavement has been removed from the Village's Illinois Street lot and the lot beside the Library. The Library's vacant lot fronting Route 59 has been cleared and leveled in preparation for paving. The redesign and expansion of parking around the Library is a cooperative project with the Village of Plainfield. It will result in a continuous parking lot with wider spaces and aisles for public parking to serve both the Library and the downtown area. Features of the new lot will include landscape barriers, a new location for the Library's dumpsters for trash and recycling, and a walkway to Lockport Street along the access drive beside the former Baci building.

Residents have expressed two main concerns regarding the project:

To achieve the most functional and efficient design, trees on the Library's vacant lot fronting Route 59 were removed. As many as possible were saved along the northern side of the lot. While the removal of existing trees was necessary, improvements to the adjacent landscaping are planned for the Library property in addition to the landscape barriers included in the parking lot design. In the Spring, the Library will undertake a project to address both the issues of drainage on the southeast corner of its property, a need identified in the 2012 Library Building Evaluation, and the aesthetic improvement of its grounds.

Concern about cars cutting through the redesigned lot from Illinois Street to Route 59 has been expressed in social media. The design of the new lot will not have direct access from Illinois Street to Route 59, to deter its use as a cut through. Should this still become an issue, measures to slow through traffic, such as speed bumps, would be installed.

Though the construction and lot closures are an inconvenience at this time, the end result will be a larger, functional public parking lot to serve the Plainfield community. The Library Board of Trustees and staff appreciate your patience  as this project moves toward completion.