The Cost of Commuter Parking for 5th Avenue

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The first 5th Avenue concepts from Ryan Companies did not add any commuter spaces – a fact that has drawn criticism from some residents and commuters.

The decision against adding parking to that general area actually goes back to 2009.

“Direction from City Council at the time was to maintain the current amount and to not add any additional parking and to continue to provide access to the train station through existing parking but also through also other modes like public transit, walking, and biking,” said Jennifer Louden, Deputy Director of TED for the City of Naperville.

The rush hour trains are already at capacity – so commuters are making it to the train station, even if they aren’t driving and parking.

But a lot of people would like to be parking. About 1,300 people are on wait lists for Naperville Train Station lots with waits estimated to be up to 13 years long.

“I don’t have good data on when those waitlists really ballooned but it probably dates all the way back to the 80s, even when the Route 59 Station was built as a reliever for the Naperville Train Station,” said Louden.

At their latest meeting, Naperville City Council requested more total spots be added to the 5th Avenue Development, instead of just moving the 1,681 spots that are currently present.

“Have we done any studies at all to find out how many units would be necessary for a measurable improvement for commuter parking? And if not, I guess I would ask that can you come back to us with a recommendation on that,” said Mayor of Naperville Steve Chirico.

A single parking space can be surprisingly expensive.

The 520-car water street parking deck cost about $10.8 million, or $21,000 per stall.

In comparison – Ryan Companies’ first concepts planned to move and rebuild the current 1,681 commuter spots for an estimated cost of about $31,000 per stall. Making their minimum cost, without adding any new commuter spaces, over $50 million.

And adding more commuter spots will of course, cause that cost to rise.

It’s still unclear how the cost burden of these parking stalls will be split between the city and Ryan Companies as part of the 5th Avenue Development.

There is currently no wait for parking at the Route 59 Train Station.

Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.