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.