To me, it seems that the group of people redesigning the central business district in Riverside on Burlington Avenue between Harlem Avenue and Longcommon Road are missing the complete point of why customers or people are not visiting the businesses in the commercial areas of the street.
I believe that is because of a lack of close, sufficient, convenient and handicapped parking, especially for the restaurants. How many vehicles are close to a restaurant and how far people are willing to walk to get to the establishment?
I believe that there is a lack of convenient parking for the restaurants (Chew-Chew and The Bohemian Cafe) compared with those that we frequent in the area. We have gone to the Riverside Restaurant on Harlem Avenue, the Brookfield Restaurant on Ogden Avenue, Tony’s Restaurant also on Ogden in Brookfield and Eggbeaters on 47th Street in McCook. They all have more than one or two car parking lots with designated handicapped parking signs on the pavement or in front the parking space.
I have noticed that a number of vacant store fronts exist on the north side of Burlington Road near Longcommon that have not attracted any tenants yet. The windows are large but have not attracted any establishments. Could that also be because of the lack of parking?
After sitting in our car in a Naperville shopping center, while my wife when into Penzey’s Spices. Customers double parked and parked in handicapped parking places with their Lexuses, BMWs and other new, expensive import cars.
They disregarded several hundred dollar fines to avoid not being able to park near the entrance to the store versus the free parking in a multistoried parking garage across the street from this small shopping center.
It implies to me they didn’t want to walk that far versus paying the price if the police came thru and started passing out tickets. The number of people visiting that store before the holidays was unbelievable.
The size of the bags that they were carrying out suggested that they were willing to pay the price for the merchandise plus fines for not having to walk about a hundred feet. People are lazy, and everything depends on convenience and value of the product, not the cost of getting it.