In what is the next step in a comprehensive public feedback process, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and two City agencies today announced that an Environmental Assessment (EA) for a proposed Bus Rapid Transit project on Ashland Avenue has been released for the public to review.
The CTA, along with the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Department of Housing and Economic Development (DHED) also announced dates for two public meetings on the EA for the project.
These hearings are another of many opportunities for the public to provide input into the next phase of the project, and follow months of meetings with members of the communities on Ashland Avenue about this project.
Earlier this year, the CTA and City announced a proposed vision for BRT that would run along the center of Ashland Avenue. The plan would create faster, more reliable bus service by increasing bus speeds by more than 80 percent during peak travel times and create economic benefits for business and residents along the entire corridor. Some features of that proposed design include limited bus stops every half mile and at CTA rail stations, traffic signal priority for buses at intersections and new bus stops.
Over the summer, CTA and CDOT heard from various key stakeholders about this plan. A key part of the EA process is gathering public feedback, which is used to shape the project. The CTA and CDOT continue to incorporate public feedback into Ashland BRT design, and are considering options and modifications, including the implementation of additional left turns, based on continued feedback from the public.
An Environmental Assessment examines all potential environmental impacts that the proposed design of a project would have on the area in which it will be located. For the proposed Bus Rapid Transit project, the EA contains analysis of the proposed plan to implement BRT on a 16-mile portion of Ashland Avenue between Irving Park Road and 95th Street. The EA will include analysis on impacts related to air, water and soil quality, as well as the potential impact that BRT would have on the community through traffic congestion, land use, noise, construction and the reliability of the transit upgrades.
Members of the public can submit formal comments to directly to the CTA or attend a public hearing to meet with CTA and CDOT representatives who can provide additional information on the project plans and submit their views on the location, design, and social, economic, and environmental effects of the proposed improvements.
The Public Open House Meetings are scheduled for:
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Benito Juarez Community Academy
1450 W. Cermak Road
Chicago, IL. 60608
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Pulaski Park Fieldhouse
1419 W. Blackhawk Street
Chicago, IL. 60622
Written comments can be also submitted by emailing AshlandBRT@transitchicago.com or by mail to the Chicago Transit Authority, attn.: Joe Iacobucci at 567 W. Lake Street, Chicago, IL 60661. To be included as a formal comment as part of the EA, comments must be submitted no later than 4:30 P.M. on December 20, 2013.
CTA and CDOT will consider the results of the analyses, potential impacts and strategies for mitigation, and all public comments before moving forward with the next phase. In addition, there will be additional public input solicited as part of the final design phase, scheduled to occur in 2014.
The complete EA is available on CTA’s website at www.transitchicago.com/ashlandbrt. Hard copies of the EA will be available to review at the public meetings as well as at the CTA offices located at 567 W. Lake Street in Chicago between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. from November 19, 2013 through December 20, 2013. Copies can also be reviewed at the following Chicago Public Library locations:
- Lincoln Belmont, 1659 W. Melrose Street, Chicago, IL 60657
- West Town, 1625 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60622
- Pilsen, 1805 S. Loomis St., Chicago, IL 60608
- West Englewood, 1745 W. 63rd Street, Chicago, IL 60636
- Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60605
For more information, please visit: www.transitchicago.com/ashlandbrt
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