Train station wins major grant

Thanks+to+the+money+awarded+to+the+village%2C+the+area+surrounding+the+train+station+will+be+developed+soon%2C+with+the+planning+process+starting+in+2015.+
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Train station wins major grant

Thanks to the money awarded to the village, the area surrounding the train station will be developed soon, with the planning process starting in 2015.

Thanks to the money awarded to the village, the area surrounding the train station will be developed soon, with the planning process starting in 2015.

Photo by Maria Thames

Thanks to the money awarded to the village, the area surrounding the train station will be developed soon, with the planning process starting in 2015.

Photo by Maria Thames

Photo by Maria Thames

Thanks to the money awarded to the village, the area surrounding the train station will be developed soon, with the planning process starting in 2015.

Maria Thames, Staff Writer

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The Village of Libertyville recently won an $80,000 grant to support development around the downtown Metra train station from the Regional Transportation Authority’s  Community Planning program.

RTA’s program “ funds planning and implementation studies that support transit, such as transit-oriented development plans, transit corridor studies or studies to improve transit operations,” said Ms. Heather Tabbert, manager of local planning and programs for RTA.

The RTA Community Planning program is a competitive program administered each year by the RTA, which received 22 applications this year, and  Libertyville was one of the fortunate 16 applicants chosen to receive a grant because “though they have a Metra station, they have not prepared a transit-oriented development plan for the station area,” described Ms. Tabbert.

For those not familiar with the term transit-oriented development (TOD),  “it is moderate to high-density, mixed-use community typically located within a half- mile (ten minute walk) of a rail or bus corridor designed to maximize walkability and transit access,” explained Ms. Tabbert.

In other words, TOD is meant to make the general vicinity of the train station more appealing and useful to citizens riding the train, such as by building a strip mall, office space, restaurants, and possibly even a grocery store or a pharmacy.

In Libertyville, the RTA “will produce a plan that includes recommendations for the future, TOD in the Metra station area and improvements for access to the station (especially for walking and biking).  The recommendations will likely detail locations for future residential, commercial or office space,” said Ms. Tabbert.

The planning process will begin in Spring 2015 and take about a year to complete. Furthermore, the process is going to include participation from not only village staff and officials and representatives from RTA, but Metra and Pace will also be including a public participation process of sorts so business owners and residents can have input  of what they wish to see around the train station area.

“Once the plan is implemented, the RTA and Metra hope to see increased ridership at the Metra station.  From Libertyville’s perspective, increased investment in the station area (more residential or commercial development) can add to the tax base of the village,” said Ms. Tabbert.

 

 

 

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