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Here are some earmarks Illinois Congressional reps are proposing for walk/bike/transit

Congressional rep Robin Kelly has proposed $2 million for rehabbing the Columbia Bridge over Chicago’s Jackson Park Lagoon, located near the Music Court Bridge, where Jake and Elwood Blues famously forced Illinois Nazis to jump into the lagoon in the movie “The Blues Brothers.”

President Biden’s $2.25 Trillion American Jobs Plan, more commonly known as “the infrastructure bill,” has sparked lots of debate over what infrastructure is and what it isn’t. Like much federal spending legislation, lots of earmarks are being added to the bill. Here are some of the walk/bike/transit-related proposals from Illinois’ Congressional representatives.

Bobby Rush (1st)

    • $1.5 million for the installation of multiuse path on the east side of 80th Avenue from 191st to 183rd streets. This would provide a walking and biking path to the Tinley Park Library and Metra station. Rush states this project would provide congestion relief, greater regional connectivity, improved safety for “multimodal system users”, and active transportation options for residents.
    • $1 million for 95th Street Corridor Equitable Transit Oriented Development. Funding would provide support for eTOD in the 95th Street station area and along the corridor from Halsted to Cottage Grove.
    • $900,000 for the creation of a Pace Pulse South Halsted Line. Rush says this would bring “enhanced bus service and improved passenger amenities to the south suburbs and South Side of Chicago. The rapid transit line will include stations with new buses, heated shelters, real-time bus tracker signs, and running way improvements.” This project would supposedly “improve travel times and waiting areas for a corridor with the heaviest bus ridership of any suburban corridor. The service will be operated with compressed natural gas buses, meaning residents and commuters in that corridor get the benefits of reduced pollution.”
    • $800,000 for the study of S. Chicago/ 79th St./ Stony Island intersection. This intersection has the highest crash rate in Illinois. Funding would support a planning and environmental linkages study to “initiate development, assessment, and evaluation of potential infrastructure modifications to address mutli-modal traffic safety and congestion issues at and near the intersection.” 
    • $5 million for a Zero Emission Locomotive Commuter Rail Pilot which would fund and expand zero emission locomotives on Metra’s Rock Island line and build out charging infrastructure. This project would “improve air quality in historically disadvantaged areas of Cook County and surrounding jurisdictions, reduce Metra’s dependence on fossil fuels, modernize its rolling stock, and decrease noise pollution in the region.” 

Robyn Kelly (2nd)

    • $2 million for Columbia Bridge Over Chicago's Jackson Park Lagoon/59th St. bike path.

Marie Newman (3rd)

    • $550,000 for concept design and engineering efforts for future electrification of the Midway bus terminal. 

Chuy Garcia (4th)

    • $900,000 for Pace Bus Rapid Transit along Cermak Rd. in Berwyn and Cicero and Harlem Ave. in Riverside, North Riverside, and Berwyn. Funding would support transit signal priority.
    • $3.3 million for accessibility improvements to the Belmont Blue Line stop.
    • $1.35 million for accessible pedestrian signals at Kedzie Ave. and N. Avondale Ave at the Kennedy Expressway, Kedzie Ave. and W. Belmont Ave at the Kennedy Expressway, and N. Pulaski Rd. and W. Wellington Ave.
    • $2 million for an ETOD project in Humboldt Park. Funds would go towards acquiring and rehabilitating the Humboldt Park United Methodist Church to create 22 affordable units.

Mike Quigley (5th)

    • Lincoln Park ADA Accessibility: "This project provides funding for comprehensive repaving of pedestrian pathways in Lincoln Park that follow ADA guidance."
    • West Grand Avenue - Highway/Rail Grade Separation: "This project will create a grade separation of the West Grand Avenue Highway and the Metra rail tracks to improve the safety, mobility, and environmental impacts of the intersection. The Grand Avenue crossing continues to see a high number of car and train [crashes] and is currently ranked the sixth most likely train crossing to have a collision out of 7,920 crossings in the State of Illinois by the Federal Railroad Administration."

Sean Casten (6th)

    • $1 million for a bike path along Quentin Road in Lake County,
    • $1.2 million for the East Branch DuPage River trail.
    • $5 million dollars for a land acquisition adjacent to Pace River Division (no further details on what the land would be used for were provided.)

Rodney Davis (13th)

    • $400,000 for the extension of the Hilltop Road multi-use trail.
    • $3.4 million for the purchase of four electric buses, charging infrastructure, and related equipment.
    • $9.8 million to facilitate the purchase of 10 hybrid electric buses and six hydrogen fuel cell buses for Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District.

Lauren Underwood (14th)

    • $240,000 for the Fox River Regional Trail: Hoover Forest Preserve-Fox River Bluffs Connecting Trail Segment. "This project will complete a multi-use trail connection between the trail systems located at Hoover Forest Preserve and Fox River Bluffs Forest Preserve (to be constructed in 2021-2022) along the southern wooded-bluff shoreline of the Fox River west of downtown Yorkville within the Eldamain – Phase II right-of-way corridor currently under construction. The Eldamain Road – Phase II project includes construction of a Fox River vehicular and pedestrian bridge crossing that will serve to connect Hoover Forest Preserve to Subat Forest Preserve at River Road.  Kendall County Forest Preserve District is working on completing public access improvements at Fox River Bluffs Forest Preserve under a grant agreement with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to provide initial public access to this forest preserve acquired in 2015. This project will improve access to outdoor recreation and help advance conservation efforts in northern Illinois."

Adam Kinzinger (16th)

    •  $900,000 for US Route 6 Multi-Use Path Extension. "This project would construct a 3,300-foot multi-use path extension from Thomas Dillon Drive to Patricia Lane in the Village Channahon... This pathway connection would reduce vehicular emissions, improve the air quality of the area, and provide direct access to employment centers. In addition, a large portion of the residents of the community will have increased and direct access to the I & M Canal Heritage Corridor where none previously existed."

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