Curb management and TOD: Community Planning projects kick off throughout region
June 1, 2023
This spring, three projects have kicked off that will make communities throughout the Chicago region more transit-friendly, thanks to support from the RTA Community Planning program. This program provides funding and technical assistance to local governments to help foster growth of sustainable, equitable, walkable, and transit-friendly communities. Since 1998, more than 200 projects have been completed.
The RTA is funding its first-ever curb and mobility study for the CTA Brown Line’s Kimball station area on the northwest side of Chicago. The station is a key mobility hub for the Albany Park community, featuring the Brown Line, three CTA bus routes, Divvy and electric scooter share, and ride-hail service—not to mention business deliveries, on-demand package and food delivery, and parking. The mobility options at this station area are an asset to community members, but they also require access to a single constrained resource—the curb.
Curb space can be utilized for dedicated bus lanes that speed up transit, protected bike lanes that separate bikes from cars, and curb extensions that increase safety for people walking. Clearly defined space for passenger pickups and drop-offs can reduce chaos and congestion in the street. These newer demands and innovations compete with on-street parking, which has traditionally monopolized curb space.
The study aims to accommodate these many competing needs while making transit access the priority and will be guided by community and stakeholder engagement and informed by data. Residents, business owners, and CTA riders are invited to take a survey to help guide development of the plan. Future engagement activities can be tracked on the project website, including roundtables and community pop-ups. The study is slated to be complete in the winter of 2023/2024.
The RTA is funding a transit-oriented development (TOD) plan for the Village of Homewood, located in the south suburbs. The plan will represent a clear community-informed vision for future development, transportation networks, and public space in the study area and outline actionable steps the Village can take to create a resilient place to live and work for all Homewood residents and those who would like to move there.
The plan will include identification of redevelopment sites and potential programming; development of conceptual renderings depicting potential future developments; identification of economic and workforce development opportunities; recommendations for applying best practices to encourage and incentivize TOD; recommended infrastructure improvements to increase safety and accessibility of multi-modal transportation; and an implementation strategy to help staff at the Village, RTA, Metra, and Pace, as well as residents and other stakeholders measure and track plan progress. The plan is slated to be complete by April 2024.
Opportunities for the public to provide input on the plan include upcoming events such as the Gotts-Chalk the Walk event on July 23 and a public workshop scheduled for October. For updates on plan-related events, visit the Village’s website.
The Village of La Grange in the western suburbs will also benefit from a TOD plan funded by the RTA, as part of a Village-funded Comprehensive Plan update. The last La Grange Comprehensive Plan and TOD Subarea Plan was adopted by the Village Board in 2005, and this update will provide a renewed vision and roadmap for the community’s future.
The plan development process will feature many opportunities for community members to weigh in and shape the direction of the plan, including interacting with planners at farmers markets and community events like the La Grange Pet Parade. In addition to these in-person opportunities, residents are invited to visit the project’s website to contribute to a virtual comment map and ideas wall, and sign up for email updates on the plan’s progress and other ways to engage.
After periods of robust research, data collection, and community engagement, the plan will identify development opportunities around the La Grange and Stone Avenue station areas, multi-modal transportation opportunities, economic development opportunities, and more. Recommendations on land use and zoning, community character and placemaking, sustainability, community facilities, programs, and services, as well as implementation tasks, will be included. The plan is on track for completion in spring 2024.
Learn more about the RTA’s Community Planning program.
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