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Federal grants approved for 7 local projects to improve bike and ped access to transit

3:31 PM CST on November 4, 2019

Mount Prospect participated in the Access to Transit program in 2016. Improvements included new shelters and pads to accommodate 60 new covered bike parking spaces. Image: RTA

When bus stops and train stations aren't safe or convenient to walk or bike to, that can be a major disincentive to riding transit. Today the Regional Transit Authority announced that it has received federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grants for seven projects that will improve bike and pedestrian access. The total package comes to $4.03 million, with the feds providing $3.2 million, or 80 percent of the funding, and the 20-percent local match coming from $248,000 in municipal funds and $558,000 in RTA funds. The cash will be used for sidewalks, crosswalks, bus shelters, signage, covered bike parking, and other infrastructure at stations and along bus corridors.

A new crosswalk at Harlem Avenue in Palos Heights provides better access to Pace's South Harlem route. Image: RTA
A new crosswalk at Harlem Avenue in Palos Heights provides better access to Pace's South Harlem route. Image: RTA

“By creating better connections to transit for pedestrians and bicyclists, these projects advance our goals of relieving congestion, reducing emissions, and growing transit ridership,” said RTA executive director Leanne Redden. “The investments will foster a safe and welcoming environment that benefits all transit riders, regardless of how they access our regional system.”

The RTA's Access to Transit program helps fund small-scale infrastrucutre projects as identified in communities’ transit-oriented development plans or corridor studies completed through either the RTA Community Planning program or the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's Local Technical Assistance program.

A sidewalk and crosswalk along a two-mile section of Golf Road in Rolling Meadows that is served by three Pace bus routes. Image: RTA
A sidewalk and crosswalk along a two-mile section of Golf Road in Rolling Meadows that is served by three Pace bus routes. Image: RTA

This is the fourth round of CMAQ funding for Access to Transit, which has scored over $13 million in federal, local, and RTA funds for 28 projects in communities across Chicagoland. To date, construction is complete on eight of these projects, with the rest either under construction or in the design phase. See a list of projects funded to date by Access to Transit here.

Here's are the new projects:

AuroraKanePedestrian and Bicycle Access ImprovementsAurora Transportation Center improvements including an entrance modification at the intersection of Spring Street to include a new sidewalk, high visibility crosswalk, and way-finding signage. Installation of real-time arrival message boards and warming shelters on the Metra platforms, a formal kiss-n-ride area on the east side of the station, bike shelters and racks on both sides of the station, and a bike lane on Spring Street.
Blue IslandCookPedestrian and Bicycle Access ImprovementsConstructing a sidewalk and providing pedestrian connection on Irving Avenue, between New Street and Vermont Street, at the Blue Island Metra stations on the Rock Island District Line and the Metra Electric District Line.  Provide on-street bike lanes along Irving Avenue and connection to Cal Sag Regional Trail.  Reconstruction and reconfiguration of Irving Avenue between New Street and Vermont Street for one-way northbound traffic.  Resurfacing and parkway beautification of Irving Avenue between New Street and York Street.
Calumet ParkCookPedestrian Access Improvements and covered bike parkingApproximately 2,050 linear feet of new and improved sidewalks, two new pedestrian crosswalks, and a covered bike shelter at the Ashland Metra station.
MidlothianCookPedestrian Access ImprovementsInstallation of a sidewalk along the northwest side of the Rock Island District right-of-way, between Pulaski Road and the pedestrian bridge in the Metra parking lot just south of 147th Street that crosses Midlothian Creek. Additionally, the bridge across Midlothian Creek will be made ADA accessible, parking spaces at the bridge will be converted to accessible spaces, and a crosswalk is also being considered to connect improvements to residences across Pulaski Road.
NilesCookPedestrian Access ImprovementsApproximately 6,400 linear feet of infill sidewalk sections along Milwaukee Avenue and Golf Road. Pedestrian signal and crosswalk across Milwaukee Avenue at Golf Mill entrance.  Improvements support the new Pace Pulse service on Milwaukee Avenue.
North ChicagoLakePedestrian Access ImprovementsImproved pedestrian access to Pace services at the intersection of Route 137 and Lewis Avenue. Installation of crosswalks, removal of curbed signal islands and repaving where the curbed islands stand, ADA curb cuts and sidewalk sections, signal modifications including audible countdown, and a new bus shelter and pad.
Park ForestCookPedestrian Access ImprovementsInstallation of a sidewalk along the south side of Lincoln Highway / US30 from Orchard Drive, east to the Village limits. Completes a sidewalk gap along Lincoln Highway within the Village to the 211th Street Metra Electric station and provides greater access to Pace bus service.

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