Pace Suburban Bus, in partnership with the RTA, has completed the Central Harlem Avenue Corridor Study, a long-range plan to improve pedestrian and transit access along a ten-mile stretch of Harlem Avenue spanning Harlem Avenue from 71st Street in Bridgeview near Toyota Park to North Avenue in Elmwood Park. The study lays the groundwork for future implementation of Pace’s Pulse program, which will provide limited stop express bus service to enhanced stations.
As a state route that carries large volumes of automobile and freight traffic each day, Harlem Avenue provides a vital north-south transit connection for communities in north, west and south Cook County. The character of the corridor varies throughout the study area, including everything from dense residential neighborhoods to large-scale industrial properties.
Over the yearlong process, the project was guided by a steering committee made up of 30 members who represent a diverse list of stakeholders, including municipalities, the service boards, councils of government and other regional agencies tasked with transportation planning. It also reflects feedback from members of the public, collected at open house events held at sites along the corridor.
The final plan offers detailed recommendations that would support the implementation of future Pulse service and benefit existing transit users in the corridor. Study results are based on a thorough analysis of existing transportation, demographic and land use conditions, as well as current local development plans. It identifies nineteen potential station sites and a variety of proposed pedestrian improvements that will support safe and convenient transit access for those traveling along the corridor. A section devoted to land use and urban design includes concept drawings that illustrate the opportunities for implementing transit-oriented development at key intersections.
As a vision for a transit-supportive corridor, grounded in stakeholder input, research and public feedback, the Central Harlem Avenue Corridor Study will be a valuable resource as Pace continues its efforts to prepare for future transit improvements and develops its Rapid Transit Program of fast, frequent and convenient bus services. The full report is available on the RTA’s data website, RTAMS.org, and on the Pace Pulse website, PaceBus.com/Pulse.
This is one of many Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) planning and implementation projects funded through the RTA’s Community Planning Program. For the past 20 years the program has completed nearly 200 TOD and implementation plans since the late 1990’s using a combination of RTA, local and federal funds, totaling nearly $20 million. For more information about the RTA’s Community Planning Program, visit www.rtachicago.org/cp.