Community Planning

The RTA Community Planning program offers technical assistance and funding to local governments and intergovernmental organizations to address local planning needs that intersect public transportation and land use. Through this assistance the RTA encourages municipalities in the region to develop walkable and more sustainable communities near transit stations and along transit corridors. 

See details of more than 200 projects on RTAMS. Read the most recent Community Planning implementation report or click the buttons below to learn more.

Implementation Transit Oriented Development

RTA accepting public comment on 2022 Program of Projects

On January 14, 2022, the RTA announced the opening of a public comment period for seven projects chosen from among 16 applications submitted to the RTA’s Community Planning Program during a Call for Project held October 8 to October 28, 2021. The applications were vetted by a project selection team composed of staff from the RTA which interviewed applicants and obtained feedback from the RTA Service Boards (CTA, Metra, and Pace) as well as other partners and technical assistance providers. 

Since 1998, the RTA’s Community Planning program has provided funding and technical assistance for transit-oriented planning and implementation initiatives with local partners throughout the six-county service area. The goal is to foster the growth of sustainable, equitable, walkable, and transit-friendly communities around transit assets by encouraging transit-supportive land uses and infrastructure. The program aids local economic development by increasing equitable access to employment centers and amenities to serve the constantly evolving needs of our diverse population.  

Eligible activities for applicants to the 2022 program include transit-oriented development (TOD) plans, transit corridor plans, TOD zoning code updates, TOD developer discussion panels, transit neighborhood mobility improvement plans, plans to develop special funding districts in transit areas, and curb management studies.  

The seven projects recommended are described below. Comments on these projects may be submitted to applications@rtachicago.org through January 28, 2022. The final 2022 Community Planning program of projects will be announced February 17 at the RTA Board of Directors meeting. 

Applicant 

Project Type 

Project Description 

Cary 

Developer Discussion Panel 

 

The Village requests a Developer Discussion Panel be convened to assist its efforts on attracting transit- oriented development (TOD) at three key areas in the downtown core as identified in the recently completed Cary Downtown Strategic Plan. The goal of the developer discussion is to provide direct insight to local public officials and Village staff on the current market for development within the downtown area and ways in which the Village can attract reinvestment.  

Cicero 

Developer Discussion Panel 

The Town requests a Developer Discussion Panel be convened to assist its efforts on attracting TOD at the former Town Hall building located on 50th Ave and 26th St., and nearby surrounding areas close to the Metra station. The goals of the developer discussion are to expand on recommendations of the Cicero Connections Plan and the Cicero Comprehensive Plan and provide a development strategy to Town officials for the former Cicero Town Hall property adjacent to the Cicero Metra Station. 

Homewood 

TOD Plan 

The Village of Homewood requests assistance to prepare a transit-oriented development plan for downtown Homewood and areas surrounding the Metra and Amtrak Homewood station and adjoining Pace bus terminal. Leveraging the ongoing station renovations, the goals of the planning study include identifying strategies to attract investment and development, retain existing character/historic preservation and increase access to transit services in the downtown. With a locally driven planning vision, the Village hopes to continue to foster population growth, identify new uses for vacant buildings, increase transit ridership and increase the downtown population. 

LaGrange 

TOD Plan 

The Village of LaGrange requests assistance to update their current transit-oriented development plan adopted in 2005. By updating this plan, the Village seeks to address current construction market dynamics, changes in the retail industry, and changing commuting habits to poise the community to take advantage of future redevelopment opportunities. In particular, the Village seeks to invite redevelopment on the West End, which has seen no new development since 2005.  The proposed study area encompasses the Central Business District of La Grange, the West End Business District, and other properties within less than one quarter mile from each Metra Station in La Grange. 

Pace Suburban Bus 

Corridor Study 

Pace requests RTA assistance with preparing a corridor study of the far South Halsted Ave. corridor between the Pace/Metra Harvey Transportation Center and the Pace Chicago Heights Terminal. Goals of the study are to increase transportation resilience, encourage transit-oriented development (TOD), improve pedestrian accessibility, sidewalks, crosswalks, access to developments, and connectivity. The study includes coordination with Harvey, South Holland, East Hazel Crest, Homewood, Glenwood, and Chicago Heights.  The study will include strategies to prepare the corridor for Pace Pulse service, improve corridor accessibility and identify future high frequency service station locations. 

Richton Park 

TOD Plan 

The Village of Richton Park requests assistance to update their current TOD plan, covering the 1/2-mile area surrounding the Richton Park Metra station. The goals for the project are to update, consolidate, and refresh the current plan (adopted in 2004) with updated recommendations, imagery, and graphics. The plan will also address a modernized strategy to increase density near the Metra station and offer more housing options, especially for residents who are becoming empty nesters and wish to age in place. The updated plan will focus on ways to retain existing character, historic preservation, and create an appealing aesthetic for the community. 

Sauk Village  

Corridor Study 

 

The Village of Sauk Village requests RTA assist to prepare a corridor study focused on both Sauk Trail (from Cottage Grove to Burnham Avenue) and Torrence Avenue (from Sauk Trail to US 30). The goals of the study include developing strategies to improve pedestrian safety, access to transit services, attracting investment and development and addressing the primary safety challenges of bicycle and pedestrian facilities, speeding and crashes.