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 selects seven new Community Planning projects

At its February 17, 2022 meeting, the RTA Board of Directors accepted seven new projects for the Community Planning Program, described below. The projects weres chosen from among 16 applications submitted 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.  

Selected projects are described below or in a memo.

Applicant 

Project Type 

Project Description 

Cary 

Developer Discussion Panel 

 

The RTA will convene a half-day developer discussion workshop with Village of Cary officials to provide enhanced development recommendations from a panel of private sector developers. The discussion will be focused on 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.  The panel will build upon directives of the recently adopted Downtown Strategic Plan. 

Cicero 

Developer Discussion Panel 

The RTA will convene a half-day developer discussion workshop with the Town of Cicero officials to provide enhanced development recommendations from a panel of private sector developers. The discussion will be focused on the former Town Hall building located on 50th Ave and 26th St., and nearby surrounding areas close to the Cicero 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 RTA will assist the Village of Homewood to prepare a transit-oriented development plan for downtown Homewood and areas surrounding the Metra and Amtrak Homewood station. Leveraging the ongoing station renovations, the goals of the planning study include identifiying 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 RTA will assist the Village of LaGrange 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 

The RTA will assist Pace 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 RTA will assist the Village of Richton Park to update their current transit-oriented development plan (TOD), 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 TOD 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 presevation, and create an appealing aesthetic for the community. 

Sauk Village  

Corridor Study 

 

The RTA will assist the Village of Sauk Villege 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.