RTA Awards Nine Community Planning Projects

The RTA is announcing the award of nine projects through its Community Planning program. These projects can transform underutilized areas around transit assets such as train stations and bus stops into bustling downtowns and neighborhoods that feel more urban, lively and pedestrian friendly

The RTA will allocate $906,000 to these projects, made up of approximately $200,000 of federal funding; $174,000 in locally matched funds; and $532,000 of RTA funds. These dollars support innovative projects to improve economic development near transit and increase transit usage throughout the region. To date the RTA has leveraged over $20 million through the 20 year history of this program.

Communities, counties, and transportation providers were invited to apply for technical assistance through the RTA’s Community Planning program. Applications were evaluated based on each project’s alignment with the recommendations of the Regional Transit Strategic Plan, feasibility of the proposed project, and the applicant’s ability to implement the plan or project. Of the fourteen applications received, nine are included in the final program.  For more information visit the RTA’s Community Planning website.

2019 Project Recipient List

Applicant Project Title Description
City of Cary Cary TOD Plan The City of Cary requests the creation of a transit-oriented development plan for the area generally located within a half mile of the Cary Metra station with particular attention given to properties located within the first quarter mile.  The project would focus on future land use and infrastructure improvements that would help to strengthen the inner core of the community and encourage private reinvestment near the station.
City of Chicago, Department Of Transportation (CDOT) 31st Street Little Village Corridor Study CDOT is seeking assistance in determining a course of action for improving mobility along 31st Street from Sacramento Avenue to the city limits, particularly for non-auto users (pedestrians, transit riders, and bicyclists). This work would include collecting and aggregating data of travel trends and traveler demographics in the study area and assisting with community outreach to obtain consensus on plan recommendations.
City of Crystal Lake Crystal Lake and Pingree Road TOD Plan The City of Crystal Lake requests the creation of a transit-oriented development plan for the areas surrounding the Crystal Lake and Pingree Road Metra stations. The project would create a development strategy for increasing the density in these areas with the goals to strengthen pedestrian walkability and to expand mixed use and transit supportive land uses for increased travel efficiency.
Elevated Chicago Workplan Implementation Assistance Elevated Chicago requests the development of an implementation strategy for the Elevated Chicago Workplan, focusing on CTA station access, traffic and circulation, community safety, equity, placemaking, and beautification. This assistance would include creating an action plan for each of seven CTA station areas identified by Elevated Chicago through their Workplan, and a public outreach strategy to generate public interest and engage partners to identify implementable recommendations. This recommendation is subject to CMAP including this application in their 2019 program of projects.
Village of Itasca Downtown Strategic Action Plan Update The Village of Itasca requests technical assistance in updating the Downtown Strategic Action Plan aimed at strengthening the downtown business environment surrounding the Itasca Metra station, guiding development and redevelopment, building on the Village’s unique assets in the downtown area including historic buildings, parks and open space, and enhancing opportunities for transit-oriented development.
Metra Station Optimization Analysis Metra requests an examination of 9 stations across the region in an effort to diagnosis the reasons for low ridership. The project would include an examination of service levels, current and forecasted ridership, service options, market area characteristics, and the potential for transit-oriented development. A cost benefit analysis of each station’s ongoing operations would be included to provide an overall set of recommendations for the future of each station.
Pace I-294 Tri-State Transit Market and Facilities Assessment Pace requests a transit market and facilities assessment of the I-294 Tri-State corridor from 159th Street Interchange in Markham to the Balmoral Interchange in Rosemont that would encompass a 5-mile radius on either side of the corridor. The assessment would identify transit markets along I-294 to inform where future routes and investments in transit infrastructure could be made when the Tri-State is rebuilt, providing incentives for commuters to use public transit.
Village of Park Forest Transportation Alternatives Study The Village of Park Forest requests a transportation alternatives study on behalf of the villages of Park Forest, Matteson and Richton Park. The study would determine the market potential for new mobility services such as local community-based transit services, shared mobility services and non-motorized transportation alternatives.
Village of Riverside TOD Zoning Code Update The Village of Riverside requests a comprehensive update to its Zoning Ordinance. The update would reflect current development trends and implement the Central Business District Plan that promotes pedestrian oriented redevelopment in the District while preserving the character of the downtown.  The update would also address  zoning issues related to protecting the Village’s national historic landmark designation.