Cook County Seeks Feedback on First Transportation Plan Since 1940

53rd Street Vision Workshop
Preckwinkle, standing on the left, at a planning workshop in her former 4th Ward. Photo: Eric Rogers

Cook County has begun the process of creating its first transportation plan since its 1940 highway plan. The Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways is collecting feedback from residents on present and future transportation needs.

“Connecting Cook County” launched late last month, and the long-range transportation plan will guide Cook County’s investments. Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle said in a statement, “We can no longer continue to make one-off transportation investments. We need a coherent strategy.”

The planning process, to be completed in 18 months, is led by the Transportation and Highway Department (which didn’t always have “transportation” in its name) alongside an advisory committee with local transit advocacy heavyweights, including MarySue Barrett of the Metropolitan Planning Council and Jacky Grimshaw of the Center for Neighborhood Technology.

The county’s online survey uses the now-familiar MetroQuest platform where residents can pin ideas and note problem areas on a map. A couple of Streetsblog readers who’ve taken the survey told us that it would be easier for them to send feedback if they knew which roads were under the county’s jurisdiction. I passed along that information to one of the planners and created a map in the meantime.

The Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, Pace, and the Chicago Department of Transportation will all be part of the planning process.

Streets under county jurisdiction include the Fullerton Avenue speedway west of Sacramento, Western Avenue, most of Ashland Avenue, and portions of several smaller streets.

  • trufe

    hopefully related closely enough to this topic, has there been any talk of Pace or RTA implementing or considering BRT?

    i know it has been an uphill battle even in more densely populated areas of the city proper, so this would likely be a long way off, even in best case scenarios…

    however, i think it would be a very good option for some routes that run from near, dense enough suburbs into the city and have a lot of potential transit connections/destinations

    for instance (and i know it is a state highway, so even less likely) BRT on 95th street could connect:

    the lakefront, 2 branches of the Metra Electric, Chicago State, the Red Line, the 2 branches of the Rock Island, 2 fairly large hospitals in Christ and Little Company, and the SWS line – all in just 11 miles

    not to mention getting you tantalizingly close to the long rumored orange line extension to ford city and midway

    although it is something the CTA would not do as it extends well into the suburbs, it would likely really drive both CTA and Metra ridership, and certainly connectivity.

    i am sure there must be other busy suburban/city corridors that could similarly benefit from BRT, but has that ever even been thrown out as a long term possibility?

  • Pace is working on Arterial Rapid Transit, which, without going into too much detail about “What is ART?” is like BRT for suburban development and transportation infrastructure (wide roads, long distances between intersections, not much surrounding land use at times).

    I think that Pace does a pretty good job – remember I’m center city-focused – planning service and responding to changing jobs and housing locations. They also connect up with all train stations and have “innovative” routes like Cubs-Wrigley Field express, Six Flags Great America, that have the potential to increase transit rid reship.

    I have started looking more into Pace’s ART plans.

  • It’s good Today, Cook County President Periwinkle named her 17-member Advisory Committee on transportation that will help devise her plan for Cook County’s transportation network and its impact over the next 25 years. Preckwinkle named Michael Tang, CEO of National Material LP, and member of Preckwinkle’s Council of Economic Advisors, to chair the Advisory Committee.


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