Hinsdale hopes to qualify for free parking study
HINSDALE — Hinsdale officials have applied for a grant to conduct a parking study of the downtown.
Though the village’s request is one of 109 other projects submitted, officials hope its parking analysis may fit a niche in the grant program, run by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
Hinsdale usually ranks low in priority for grants that are awarded based in large part on economic need.
The perception may be that Hinsdale doesn’t deserve the grant, said Director of Economic Development Timothy Scott
“We are trying to overcome that,” Scott said.
The village is seeking technical assistance and guidance from the agency and not funds.
Scott said a representative of the planning agency explained financial need will be less of a factor in evaluating requests for parking management assistance.
“More affluent communities might have the financial resources, but not the technical expertise — and an affluent/thriving community is more likely to have parking congestion than a struggling community,” Scott and Police Chief Bradley Bloom wrote in a memo to the village’s Zoning and Public Safety Committee.
The village submitted its proposal, along with a letter of support from the Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce.
“The strategy to best manage our existing (parking) supply is what we are after,” Scott said, rather than suggestions to build new parking garages. “It’s not a build-your-way out of the problem. It will focus on street parking” in the central business district.
“We could use a set of fresh, unbiased, professional eyes to address the management of our existing supply,” Scott said.
One or two projects seeking parking analysis assistance will be chosen in October. The parking study would take about eight months to complete and involve input from both government and private groups