The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is announcing $195,000 in funding through its Access to Transit program to help four communities in Northeastern Illinois complete Phase I engineering for projects that will improve pedestrian and bicycle access to public transit.
The RTA launched Access to Transit in 2012 to support small-scale capital projects that improve multimodal connections to public transportation. The four projects recently approved by the RTA Board of Directors will receive funding for Phase I engineering, a frequent barrier to securing funding and completing projects.
For the first time in 2020, the RTA added Phase I engineering as an eligible project type for communities of high need based on tax base, median income, and other economic and demographic characteristics. Helping high need communities complete Phase I engineering opens the door for them to access larger state or federal programs for construction funding.
The approved projects are described below or can be explored in an online story map:
- Berkeley Sidewalk Improvements ($50,000): The project will fill sidewalk gaps to provide access from residential neighborhoods south of St. Charles Road to Pace Bus Route 313 along Lee Blvd., Morris Ave., Rohde Ave., Spencer Ave., and Jerele Blvd.
- Harvard Sidewalk Improvements ($45,000): The project will improve pedestrian access along US Rte. 14, Illinois Rte. 173, Marengo Road, and Ayer Street, including new sidewalks, ADA improvements, crosswalks, and a Pace Bus shelter which will better connect residents to the Harvard Metra Station and the 808 Pace Bus.
- Sauk Village Sidewalk and Intersection Improvements ($50,000): This project includes sidewalk, crosswalk, and other intersection improvements along Sauk Trail and Torrence Ave. to fill sidewalk gaps and make ADA and safety-related improvements at key intersections and along Pace Bus Route 358.
- University Park Sidewalk and Intersection Improvements ($50,000): This project includes building a side path along University Parkway that will connect the University Park Metra Station to the I-57 Industrial Corridor, creating a multimodal connection between transit and a growing employment center that will make it easier and safe for workers to access jobs via transit.
Investing in pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure near transit provides several benefits for both local communities and the RTA system. Each of these projects will help increase transit ridership, promote healthy walkable communities, and make it safer and easier for riders to get to and from transit.
To date, Access to Transit has funded 28 projects in communities throughout the region for a total investment of roughly $13 million in federal, RTA, and local funds. Detailed information on past projects is available on RTAMS.org