Some members of the Naperville city council are experiencing the consequences of their decisions to increase the density and congestion in downtown Naperville, and they are not very happy about it.
Watch and listen as councilmen David Wentz and Grant Wehrli express their frustration dealing with delivery trucks in the downtown area:
Their impatience centers around delivery trucks either stopping on the streets or the alleys to deliver merchandise, which doesn’t leave many options for delivery truck drivers to do their job.
With a little better planning and forethought on the council’s part, much of this congestion could have been avoided, but as is usually the case, most council members did not consider unintended consequences, until they were sitting in their cars trying to get from point A to point B.
Imagine for a moment, what it will be like when the Water Street Project begins and is completed. At that time, today’s congestion problems will seem like utopia, when compared to trying to navigate through downtown Naperville. Trying to turn or deliver something in the Water Street area might look something like this:
What is a delivery driver to do if the Naperville city council squeezes them on the streets and in the alleys? The council made it clear that they are leery about the use of drones, so utilizing drone technology for beer deliveries is unlikely.
That leaves just one option left; drive-by deliveries. That’s right, just slow down enough to launch boxes through the air to their destination. It may take two or three drive-bys to complete the delivery, but at least traffic will flow at 2 to 3 mph. The only problem with drive-by deliveries will be the Anti-Cruising ordinance, which would hinder drive-by deliveries, to the point that delivery truck drivers could receive a ticket. Not only will the truck be stopped on the street, but a NPD squad car will be stopped behind the truck in order to issue the ticket.
Drive-by deliveries and rushing deliveries in downtown Naperville might ultimately look something like this:
To reduce congestion the could permanetely remove all parking on washington street. The parking garages have just expanded and there is sufficient parking elsewhere. I noticed going southbound on washington is better now that they have eliminated the parking spots from the post office to Athleta (formerly the bank of america location). Removing these spots makes washington a true 2 lane road with less congestion. I wonder if there is a traffic study for this option?
Removing all parking from Washington Street
would certainly reduce congestion, but it would also further split the downtown into two distinct regions, east and west of Washington. This would be good for drivers, but bad for pedestrians.
How would removing parking spots further divide Washington? Flawed logic to begin an argument.
Most people first have to drive to downtown Naperville to become pedestrians. I for one, have ceased driving to or through downtown to avoid the Washington street congestion. And it wouldn’t “split” the downtown area at all if you slightly increased the walking lights used to cross Washington. Since there are parking garages on both sides of Washington, neither side has an advantage. The added 20 or spots on Washington do nothing to mend the Washington street cleave, and everything to make drivers avoid it.
I have lived in Naperville, always within walking distance of downtown, for about 30 years. And in the past 6-7 years I have done everything I can to avoid downtown and driving on Washington. We now snake through residential streets to reach our destination to avoid the crazy congestion.
We will occasionally walk to downtown to have dinner, or stroll the river walk and then we will quickly be reminded of why we avoid it. Bars, drinking, fights, the necessary police presence lining Chicago ave, the free-for-all partying atmosphere. It’s just not our cup of tea.