In an effort to provide more commuter parking near the Congress Park train station at DuBois Boulevard and Burlington Avenue, the village of Brookfield plans on spending about $5,000 to patch, sealcoat and stripe the former Brookfield Moose parking lot at 4000 DuBois Blvd.
Village Manager Riccardo Ginex said that doing some minor repairs to the lot could yield up to 60 parking spaces for commuters, who have been drawn increasingly to the station because of a change in Metra’s morning schedule. Congress Park is now the final stop for the downtown express train before it heads directly into the Loop.
Brookfield plans on using a third-party, Passport Parking, to handle the collection of a $2.50 per day fee to park in the lot. Passport Parking allows users to pay the fee via their smartphones, using Passport’s app, through a voice system or text message.
The village plans on providing marketing materials to commuters to explain how the process works. The parking lot should be open by mid-October, according to Ginex.
Officials also hope the lot could be part of a solution to complaints about commuters parking on residential streets north of the station. While the 3800 blocks of Morton, Raymond and Cleveland avenues require vehicles to have parking decals allowing them to park on those blocks, there are no restrictions in the 3700 blocks or on Fairview Avenue.
The village’s Public Safety Committee last week again addressed potentially expanding the zone parking restrictions in the area as a way to drive commuters to the new commuter lot on DuBois Boulevard.
Any parking permit for residential streets north of the station will have to be approved by the village board.
During a discussion of the new commuter lot at the village board’s Sept. 24 committee-of-the-whole meeting, some trustees urged village staff to consider alternatives other than commuters using their phones to pay for parking.
Trustees Ryan Evans and Brian Oberhauser suggested allowing free public parking at the lot in the evenings, while Trustee Michael Towner suggested setting aside some spaces for three-hour parking during the days for patrons of Ogden Avenue businesses.
Ginex said he’s open to alternatives, including selling monthly permits to commuters. Commuters who park along Burlington Avenue near the Congress Park stations already buy permits.
The lot, however, will not be open for parking overnight, Ginex said.
As for alternate hours and payment options, Ginex said he wanted to see how the Passport Parking plan went and how many commuters used the lot before making any changes.
In any case, the village hopes the parking lot is a temporary use for the property. Brookfield purchased the former Brookfield Moose property in December 2011 out of foreclosure for $285,000.
Also last year, the village created a separate TIF district that includes the property and hopes to attract a developer for the property in the future.