The Regional Transportation Authority recently announced the award of ten projects through its community planning program. The RTA will allocate $360,000 to these projects, made up of $276,000 of federal funding; $65,000 in locally matched funds and $19,000 of RTA funds. These dollars will support innovative projects to increase transit usage throughout the region.
The Community Planning program provides funding and planning assistance to projects that benefit the community and the regional transit system. The program includes a mix of transit-oriented development (TOD) planning, corridor planning, transit service planning and TOD implementation projects.
“Through these programs, the RTA awards grants for projects that create transit-supportive local plans. In addition to helping to reduce congestion and improve air quality, these plans help us maximize use of our transit system and tap new markets that could lead to the creation of more jobs and sustainable communities,” said Joe Costello, executive director, RTA.
In May, 2013, communities, counties, and transportation providers were invited to apply for grants through the RTA’s Community Planning program. Out of 17 eligible applications, ten are included in the final program.
2014 Community Planning Project Award Recipients
This project will assist the Village with future development along the St. Charles Road corridor. It will include a developer panel specific to four sites along the St. Charles corridor with the goal of revitalizing this once historic village Main Street. The panel will give the Village feedback on what type of development is realistic for the four sites in the current market and concrete steps for Bellwood to take to promote development. The project was awarded $3,000.
This project will assist the Village with future development along the Harlem Avenue corridor between the Green and Blue Line CTA stations by conducting a developer panel along the Harlem corridor. The project was awarded $3,000.
This project will assist the Village with implementing its TOD plan for the Fox Lake Metra Station. The RTA will work with the Village to bring in Urban Land Institute experts to advise Village staff on how to identify and solicit developers to the station area. The project was awarded $3,000.
This project will rewrite the Zoning Code in the downtown area and near the Geneva Metra Station in an effort to implement recommendations from the Downtown Station Area Master Plan, which was also completed through a Community Planning Program. The project was awarded $20,000.
Kane County Department of Transportation
This project will assess the existing Ride in Kane program and recommend areas of improvement. Current operating funds may not be available in the future so the program needs to assess the existing program, understand the growth in demand and develop strategies to encourage users to access fixed route public transit services in the region. The project was awarded $75,000.
This project will increase the implementation efforts that are already taking place related to the Lemont Station Area Plan (completed by an allocation of RTA and Village funds) by creating a marketing plan the Village can use to attract development for vacant areas near the Metra Station and along the downtown Main Street corridor. The project was awarded $3,000.
This project will conduct a corridor study along Broadway Avenue with the goal of creating a transit friendly environment that includes improved transit infrastructure, safety and beautification elements. The project was awarded $100,000.
Pace Suburban Bus
This project will fund technical assistance to Pace to enable the agency to conduct community transit planning tasks in prospective communities. This work will improve local transit options and traffic flow while taking into account economic development opportunities and land use that support improved access to transit. The project was awarded $150,000.
RTA staff will assist the Village in reviewing pedestrian access to the 211th Street Metra station and develop a pedestrian access improvement plan. The project will review pedestrian and bicycle connections between commercial corners, existing residential neighborhoods and the connection between parking and the platform/station entrances. No funds were awarded for this project as RTA staff will develop the plan.
This project will assist the Village with implementing its “Legacy Plan,” downtown TOD plan, and Legacy Zoning Code by conducting a developer and financial panel for the Village. The RTA will work with the Village to bring a panel of development and financial professionals to the Village to discuss which incentives, programs and projects, should be created to spur implementation of the Plan through private investment. The project was awarded $3,000.