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Explore 2023 RTA Local Planning projects and successes in interactive implementation report

April 18, 2024

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Every year, the RTA’s Local Planning department assists local governments throughout northeastern Illinois on projects that strengthen the region’s transit system through two programs: Community Planning and Access to Transit. These programs provide funding and technical assistance for local governments to plan for and create pedestrian friendly, multi-modal, equitable, and accessible communities.

The RTA recently published its 2023 Local Planning Implementation Story Map, an interactive report of 21 RTA-supported projects around the region that are starting soon, in progress, or recently completed.

In 2023, the RTA celebrated the award of over $2.4 million in federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) funds that will support a program of seven transportation infrastructure projects that will deliver new sidewalk, ADA-compliant curb ramps, and a mobility hub in communities throughout the region.

The report also includes details on two Access to Transit projects that progressed in 2023. In July, the City of Harvard completed Phase I Engineering for new sidewalk construction along Route 173. And the City of Aurora completed the majority of its planned improvements to the Aurora Transportation Center, including the installation of real-time arrival/departure signage for Metra trains, the construction of heated transit shelters, and the improvement of bike lanes that access the station.

Four Community Planning projects that were completed in 2023 are also highlighted in the report. One such project is the Chicago Little Village Corridor Study. The RTA assisted the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) in identifying access to transit and mobility improvements along 31st Street from Sacramento Avenue to the city limits, particularly for non-auto users (pedestrians, transit riders, and bicyclists). This work included 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. The final plan includes block-by-block recommendations for infrastructure projects that can enhance the environment for people walking, biking, and using transit, thereby improving walkability and safety. The Plan was completed in April 2023, and CDOT is now working to identify funding sources and a strategy to implement the plan recommendations. Other projects listed in the report include a Developer Panel in Des Plaines, a zoning code update in Riverside, and a transit-oriented development (TOD) plan in University Park.

The report lists eight other examples of communities throughout the region that successfully implemented recommendations from previously completed plans that received funding and technical assistance from the RTA’s Community Planning program. As detailed in the report, these communities’ efforts have not only improved transit effectiveness in the region through access improvements but have also provided a variety of mobility options for residents, increased opportunities for residents to use low carbon transportation modes, and expanded the variety of residential and commercial options for communities.

Overall, the projects included in the implementation report show progress toward the goals of Transit is the Answer, the RTA’s regional transit strategic plan adopted in 2023, and the principle of “Commitment to Change.” Moving forward, the RTA will continue to assist communities throughout the region to tackle immediate and emerging planning issues related to transit.

Read more in the 2023 Implementation Report.

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Tagged in: Community Planning | Access to Transit | RTAMS

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