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.
2021 Selected Projects
During the Community Planning program solicitation held January 20 through February 3 in cooperation with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), the RTA received 31 requests for technical assistance from 23 applicants, of which, six are proposed to be awarded, described below.
Aside from its impacts on transit, the COVID-19 pandemic has strained the capacity of local governments like never before. The projects selected for the 2021 program allow the RTA to provide a special focus on high need and very high need communities, supporting their efforts to implement plans for the future.
Active Mobility and Curb Management Plan
The RTA will assist communities with identifying tactical mobility improvements for the long-term such as widening bicycle lanes and pedestrian sidewalks. Additional assistance will be offered to identify curb and travel lane management strategies such as dedicated delivery zones, micro mobility parking areas, keeping closed sections of roadway for added outdoor use on a more permanent basis, restricting vehicular speeds and building individual micro-mobility alternatives. Identifying these improvements in areas served by transit will further support transit’s future comeback. One project is recommended to be awarded.
- City of Chicago – Albany Park, along portions of W. Lawrence Avenue and N. Kimball Avenue, adjacent to the CTA Kimball Brown Line station.
Developer Discussion Panel
RTA assistance will be provided to solicit guidance and advice from development experts through a half-day discussion panel. This panel discusses the development climate and potential strategies to prepare for and attract development in a specific subarea, corridor, or specific site. One project is recommended to be awarded.
- Village of Brookfield – Village-owned parcels near the Congress Park Metra station.
Zoning Code Updates
RTA will assist local government staff to create development standards and review processes that make investment in the community more attractive to potential developers, business owners, and residents seeking to improve their property. The project team will assess the current regulations and existing conditions in each chosen community and deliver a revised zoning ordinance, subdivision ordinance, unified development ordinance (UDO), overlay district, or other appropriate document. Three projects are recommended to be awarded.
- City of Berwyn - The Harlem Avenue corridor from Roosevelt Road to Pershing Road.
- Village of Maywood – Downtown Maywood include portions of Lake Street and S. 5th Avenue.
- Village of Robbins – Southeast portions of the Village, from S. Claire Boulevard to the Robbins Metra station.
Special Funding Districts
RTA assistance will help municipalities with planning for a special funding district in their community, such as a Tax Increment Finance District, Special Service Area or Business Development District. Funding generated from these districts/areas can be used to implement recommendations from municipal plans. One project is recommended to be awarded.
- City of West Chicago – Downtown West Chicago including the West Chicago Metra station area to the east.