Near campus parking could be restricted

By Matt Gronlund

The DeKalb City Council passed a consideration Monday to put additional restrictions on near campus parking.

The consideration will restrict parking on Garden Road from Lucinda Avenue to a point 450 feet north of Northern Lane. The stretch of road, frequently used as a parking area by commuter students, runs parallel to the construction site of the future Engineering Building.

The consideration was put forth so there would not be any accidents associated with the construction of the Engineering Building. Construction on the building is estimated to last 22 months.

“In the short term, from a safety point of view, it is essential to get the parking off the street,” said City Manager Bill Nicklas.

Assistant City Manager Dean Kruithof added there is a concern that people are going to park on the road and mix with construction vehicles. He went so far as say he had seen Commonwealth Edison employees having to position themselves over a parked car.

Suggestions were made, however, to make the move permanent due to complaints from area residents about the parking. The parking structure under construction could alleviate the parking pressure from restriction.

First Ward Ald. Amy Polzin suggested the restriction should only be temporary, at least until the parking structure is completed.

Sixth Ward Ald. Brad Strauss spoke out strongly about the consideration. “I think we have such a tight parking situation that we cannot take anymore restrictions lightly, and we have to prove without a shadow of a doubt that those restrictions are necessary,” Strauss said.

After the council meeting, Strauss said Kruithof convinced him the restriction is indeed necessary because of public safety. “Public safety has to over-ride all other concerns,” Strauss said. “Other options should be looked at and students should look out for further restrictions in parking, at least until the parking structure is built.”

Strauss said he is working with Kruithof to find alternative parking areas where people can be assured of safety.

The consideration will be voted on at the next council meeting in the form of an ordinance.

Also at the meeting, the council passed a consideration of an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) project that would widen and improve the intersection of Illinois Route 38 (Lincoln Highway) and Peace Road.

The consideration also will be voted on at a later meeting.