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Library Board Still Trying to Agree on Lot Modifications

Library trustees say further changes are needed before the agreement to modify the lot can be approved.

The Board of Library Trustees of the Cook Memorial Public Library District unanimously voted against approving an agreement to modify the Cook Park Library parking lot during a special meeting Tuesday.

The Village of Libertyville presented the board with an agreement, which aims to modify the parking lot to address village events and possible safety concerns.

Even though library trustees voted down the agreenment, they plan to hold another meeting to vote on an updated agreement.

The modifications would involve widening the Brainerd entrance to allow for two way traffic so the Church Street exit could be closed during special events. Currently, the parking lot operates with one way traffic coming in from Brainerd Avenue and one way traffic going out through the Church Street exit. The village often closes Church Street to allow the operation of the Farmer’s Market, Libertyville Days, and Car Fun on 21.

Many board members worried that the agreement did not explain what would constitute “unsafe conditions” and lead to modifications. Since the proposal was presented, they have worried that two way traffic on Brainerd near the book drop and pedestrian walkways would lead to accidents.

The board also expressed concerns about the number of special events during which the Church Street exit would be closed, and the possibility of conflicting library events.

In March, the board reluctantly approved the widening of the Brainerd entrance after the village requested the modifications to accommodate village events. Though the village agrees to pay for the construction, many board members are still concerned about the safety of the parking lot layout.

“Our engineers said that the way it is now is safer than what it is proposed to be,” owner’s representative Jim Johnson said at the meeting.

James Ferolo, the library district's attorney, explained that the contract included the possibility to further modify the parking lot if safety became an issue.

“An engineer’s report will be presented to the village if accidents occur,” Ferolo said. “The Brainerd entrance would go back to simply being an entrance, unless a better solution presented itself.”

The board will discuss and vote on the agreement again after changes are made. Until then, Johnson said traffic officers will direct traffic flow in the lot during special events.

Rick May 26, 2011 at 10:43 AM
Libertyville events have been ongoing for years, have been very successful and have reinvigorated the community. To cut off the spirit of the community by trying to run traffic through these events is disgraceful. Moving the events has not worked in the past, this is where people congregate.
Jim King May 26, 2011 at 01:41 PM
I had written to both the Village and Library Boards about the safety issues with the current lot as it relates to all and also for seniors. The exit unto Church is vision impaired to vehicles coming west on Church with cars/SUVs parked right next to the exit. It is necessary to go almost into the street to see. Then the gird lock and potential accident site at the entrance. Some one who is parked in the lot after the Church Street exit must cross into incoming traffic. Then that traffic is stopped and impaired by those dropping off materials and right after that those who are dropping off or picking up passengers. A second entrance is needed in both cases. The only thing convenient about the drop slots into the building is for the employees. It is too difficult to reach for many folks. Put up a box away from the entrance. That location was not well conceived. Come on Boards this is not turf war it is about public safety and convenience. Please listen to the users and not the consultants. Jim King
Bruce May 26, 2011 at 05:36 PM
Bruce Meadows Why change the traffic pattern for three yearly events ? The farmers market , car fun , and Libertyville days. Block off Church street east of the library exit and put a road closed sign at the corner of Church and Brainard and put any over flow tents, booths etc. in the park. No matter how you reconfigure the library parking lot there will be complaints once people get use to its quirks they will adapt and drive accordingly. The library is done lets leave it as is.
Adriana May 26, 2011 at 06:19 PM
The new exit is dangerous, when cars are parked nearby, one has to stick out a lot into the street in order to exit the parking lot. It would be safer to have the two-way exit as we used to before the renovation.
Vera Pergl-Butkovich May 27, 2011 at 11:44 AM
I agree with both Jim and Adrianna, the exit on to Church is dangerous for all crossing the street in front of the Civic Center especially for our most cherished citizens the seniors. Modifying the entrance on Brainard to both an entrance and exit (which people do this anyway) would alleviate some of exit traffic on to Church. Vera Pergl-Butkovich

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