A municipal parking lot along Roosevelt Road in Broadview, where village officials are looking to install electric vehicle charging stations. | File
Saturday, March 26, 2022 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
The village of Broadview is looking to install electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in each of the six newly renovated municipal parking lots along Roosevelt Road, one of the village’s most important commercial corridors.
The move is consistent with Broadview Mayor Katrina Thompson’s vision to make the suburb more environmentally sustainable, village officials said during a committee meeting held earlier this month.
During a Streets, Sidewalks and Alleys committee meeting held March 2, Broadview Public Works Director Matthew Ames said the six municipal parking lots, which have already been resurfaced and retrofitted with new light fixtures, should be completed by the end of the summer.
The village is still working on adding parking meters to the lots and has been in discussions with numerous vendors about the different options for EV charging stations. He said the village is exploring the possibility of adding fast-charging stations to the lots, which get EV batteries to full power in less time.
Ames and Broadview Police Chief Thomas Mills said they’re also discussing the possibility of the police department hiring a part-time officer in order to enforce the parking rules along Roosevelt Road.
“In preparing for this, we would take into consideration the possible hiring of a community service officer who would be tasked to more or less handle the responsibility of ensuring that [the 437 parking spaces in the Roosevelt Road corridor] are being utilized,” Mills said on March 2, adding that the revenue generated from the paid parking meters should be sufficient to pay for the additional part-time officer.
“This will not be a drain to the residents by way of having our police officers having to concentrate their efforts on these lots,” Mills said.
The six municipal lots are located along Roosevelt Road at 14th, 15th, 16th and 18th avenues; in the parking lot behind the Blue Note; and in the lot between the old Checkers and Furniture Guys, Ames said.
While the parking meters are designed to generate additional revenue to pay for parking enforcement, Ames said the EV charging stations are meant to promote environmental sustainability.
The measure is part of a more comprehensive plan created by Broadview to promote the use of alternative energy sources, such as solar and electric. The village received a prestigious SolSmart designation earlier this month. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and recognizes municipalities that put in place ordinances, policies and practices designed to promote solar energy use for homes and businesses.
“Right now, we’re talking about [municipal] fleet vehicles that are electric for Broadview, so we want to make sure we have the infrastructure in place,” Ames said.
Cul de sac explored for 18th Avenue
During the March 2 meeting, village officials also discussed the possibility of installing a cul de sac on 18th Avenue near Roosevelt Road, in order to redirect traffic that often comes onto residential streets from nearby businesses located on the corridor.
“When folks come into the corridor to frequent businesses there, they often go through residential areas and that has created problems in some blocks,” Ames said. “Specifically on 18th Avenue, the 2100 block and the 2000 block, in particular.”
Ames said village officials have had preliminary conversations about how that traffic might be redirected back onto Roosevelt and a cul de sac has figured prominently in those initial discussions.
“When we put cul de sacs in the [area of Broadview known as 80 Acres] on the north side of Broadview, we didn’t have as much public input, but we did find [the cul de sacs were] well-received after the benefits became evident,” Ames said, adding that the cul de sacs resulted in decreased traffic, decrease police call rates and fewer parking issues in the area.
“There are benefits, but [they’re also a] minor inconvenience as well and we’d like to talk about those minor inconveniences and how to reduce them as much as possible,” he said.
The issues surrounding the municipal parking lots and the cul de sacs will eventually be brought before the Broadview village board before any final decisions are made.