Welcome to Glencoe's Downtown Tuneup, the project website and collaborative workspace for residents and stakeholders to interact, share ideas, and help make Downtown Glencoe even better.
In February, the Glencoe Plan Commission listened to a detailed parking report prepared by our planning staff in consultation with an outside expert from the transportation consulting firm KLOA.
After a review of parking counts, parking spaces, parking availability, parking locations, parking occupancies…….the staff confirmed (based on the data) what we know intuitively: There’s parking in the vicinity of our central business district, often lots of it. It just isn’t necessarily where we want it to be, namely, within sight of our destination.
Suburban markets are practically defined by the availability of ‘convenient’ parking—whatever that means! Paradoxically, parking in a shopping mall that is further from a shopper’s destination than comparable parking in Glencoe, might seem closer….because we associate the shopping center parking lot with the shopping destination…and also because we feel relatively sure that, in the shopping center…..we chose the parking space that was the closest, among the available choices.
So parking in downtown is partly about expectations, partly about concrete experiences, partly about perceptions, and partly about consumer behavior. And it has been an issue of debate in Glencoe for a long time.
If – as so many of our residents have told us—we would benefit from more eating establishments in Glencoe….then the need for available and convenient parking will increase. Restaurants need parking, often significantly more than retail shops or service businesses. Patrons remain on site for an hour or two, longer than the quick trip to the cleaners or Parkway.
What are our parking needs currently, and what will they be in the future?
How will they be shaped by the future uses attracted to our town center?
If we want or need a greater number of ‘convenient’ parking spaces where can they be located?
This issue is of continuing interest and importance to the Plan Commission as the Downtown TuneUp process progresses in 2015 toward a discussion of planning policies for our downtown–for our future.
As is the case for most of the elements of the TuneUp, the Commission will be going beyond simply understanding the supply and demand for parking. It must consider what can be done to assure that not only are spaces available and convenient, but that they are perceived by everyone as predictably available, convenient, safe and attractive.
So stay tuned. Join in! Share your perspectives, and your ideas.
– Caren Thomas, Chairman at Village of Glencoe Plan Commission