Traffic Analysis

KLOA, Inc. was commissioned by Omnia to do the traffic and parking analysis. This company is highly regarded and has performed these types of analysis for the City of Naperville.

 

Omnia's plan provides an all new underground parking garage paid for with an innovative method: the use of a Tax Increment Funding ("TIF"). All current surface parking in the lots and on the streets north of the train station will move into the underground parking garage. Additionally, Omnia's design adds 950 new commuter parking spaces.

 

The "taxpayers" who will pay for the construction of the underground parking will be the new taxpayers who purchase the new residences. Their residences will be within the TIF district and the property taxes from these new residences will pay for the parking garage. Current taxpayers will not have an increase in their taxes to pay for this garage. The City of Naperville will own the underground parking garage and collect almost $.5 million in new parking revenue annually.

 

Currently, the surface lots on Fifth Ave. are nearly vacant on weekends and evenings. Omnia's plan provides dual use of its proposed underground parking garage: commuters during the weekdays and theater-goers during the evenings and weekends. This is an efficient use of the property.

 

The proposed residences and retail will also have their own dedicated parking. Developers will provide the funding for these land uses.

 

Findings overall:

Traffic will increase. (Traffic will also increase with the plan of the staff.) However, per the study, this increase in traffic is manageable through the use of removal of all parking along Fifth Ave., adding additional right and left turn lanes, curb cuts, traffic redirection and the addition of a traffic light at Ellsworth.

 

KLOA conducted traffic counts in September 2006 during the weekday morning (6:30 to 8:30 A.M.) and evening (4:30 to 6:30 P.M.). Summaries of the traffic counts indicated that the morning peak occurs from 7:15 to 8:15 A.M., and the evening peak hour occurs from 4:30 to 5:30 P.M. The morning peak volumes are higher due to students going to school at Naperville North High School.

 

KLOA determined that new trips generated by the entire Omnia development during the peak times will be:

 

Time: Morning Peak Morning Peak Evening Peak Evening Peak
Direction: Inbound Outbound Inbound Outbound
Total New Trips: 244 246 354 318

 

 

The above estimates include new housing, new retail, and additional commuter trips.

 

The increase of 950 new parking spaces for commuters proposed by Omnia does not mean that there will be 950 new trips in the morning and in the evening. Per City of Naperville statistics, 18% of commuters are dropped off and picked up in the morning and evening. With approximately 4,000 commuters using the station daily, this means that 720 cars currently come in twice a day.

 

Performing Arts Center Traffic:

Patrons of the Performing Arts Center will use the vacant spaces that the commuters have used through the day, thus providing the best usage of the parking spaces.

 

The analysts have communicated that the traffic will not increase any more for performances at the Performing Arts Center than when an express train arrives from Chicago. This is because most commuters travel with one person per car, while most theatre patrons will have two to three persons per car. Theatre traffic will dispense in a very short time frame in the evening when there otherwise is very little traffic.

 

Theatre-goers will not all arrive and disperse at the same time as many will likely stop at the eateries with friends before and/or after the performances.

 

Traffic for arrivals for the Performing Arts Center performance will not be generated by cars roaming the streets looking for parking spaces in front of private homes, as is the case at other local theatres. Patrons will thus not have to arrive early to find a parking place close to the theatres for ease of walking.

 

Access for seniors and handicapped is a top priority. They will be able to arrive in a weather protected underground garage and take an elevator up into the theatre lobby.

 

Additional Traffic Management Techniques:

 

The following is recommended:

- Dual left turn lanes at Washington and 5th Ave. to prevent backups in the P.M. peak hours.
- Right turns into underground parking garage off of Washington St. will remove some current traffic from 5th Ave. in the A.M.
- Removal of street parking on 5th Ave. will allow for dedicated left and right hand turns into the new residences.
- Dedicated left and right turns mean fewer backups and a better traffic flow.
- Addition of a traffic light at Ellsworth and 5th Ave. will allow for an efficient flow of pedestrian and automobile traffic.