5th Avenue Steering Committee Discuss New Concept

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5th Avenue New Concept

The 5th Avenue Steering Committee held a meeting on February 15 to discuss the new design concept for the 5th Avenue Project and to hear the public’s thoughts.

The new concept dropped the maximum height of residential units from 83 to 70 feet, reduced the number of homes from 405 to 292, and increased affordable housing to 24 percent.

Ongoing Concern

Many welcomed those changes. But the proposal to add a multi-level parking deck with around 500 spots for commuters at the DuPage Children’s Museum lot has been an ongoing concern that many brought up once again at the meeting.

“I have been frustrated because I live in an area that does have two schools and a lot of existing traffic concerns,” said attendee Beth Schaffer McCarthy.

Those schools are Ellsworth Elementary and Washington Junior High. Many from the group of around 60 are concerned additional traffic from the lot could pose a hazard to students crossing streets.

“You have this mix of pedestrians, bicycles, cars, trucks, school buses, commuter buses. They all have their place and they all have to be accommodated in some way,” said Councilwoman Judy Brodhead. “But it is absolutely something we always think about, it’s certainly not going to be ignored in anything that might be built here.”

Commuter Concern

Commuter representative Katie Sowa said the addition of the deck might not be the best solution for commuters either.

“So even now ease of in and out of the parking lots, which is going to be heightened when you have higher levels that you have to go up in a parking garage,” said Sowa. That is one of the main concerns of commuters that they don’t want to be sitting in a garage for another ten minutes just trying to get out of the garage to then fight traffic on their way home.”

Some also thought the revised concept is missing a bit of a wow factor.

“If we just add more parking spots, we’ve missed an opportunity to really look at what we can do to take our community forward and really make it a place and destination where our kids and our kids’ kids want to continue to be,” said attendee Amit Aeathuri.

Council will be discussing the new concept at a March 5 workshop.

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.


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