Those who wish there were better ways to get around the Antioch area without driving can have their say as planning for a "lifestyle corridor" begins to take shape.
Antioch officials and experts from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning will take notes during a public workshop from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Antioch Senior Center, 817 Holbeck Drive.
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"This is an opportunity for the public to make comments and have an impact on the project and its direction on the front end," said Dustin Nilsen, the village's director of planning and zoning.
The session is the first public meeting in a process to produce a plan to identify opportunities to connect parks, schools, the downtown and other amenities in and around the village.
"We're going to introduce the project to the public. We'll spend a lot of the meeting looking at maps and asking the public for ideas on where it should go and what should be connected to it," said Jason Navota, senior planner for CMAP.
CMAP is providing assistance to dozens of communities throughout the region, including several in Lake County, through a federally funded program designed to help implement the agency's "GO TO 2040" comprehensive regional plan. Local efforts include projects such as creating a comprehensive plan for Round Lake Heights and updating Lakemoor's long-range vision. Antioch's corridor planning is unique because of its potential regional impact.
While the focus initially will be in town, the long view stretches from the Des Plaines River on the east to the Chain `O Lakes to the west to someday involve Lake County Forest Preserve District and state natural areas.
"It (Antioch area) has significant advantages," Navota said.
"Probably most important is the rich and robust natural resources. I think there are great opportunities and great assets to tap into."
To do that, planners will build and expand on previous studies and existing amenities, such as bike paths.
"It's not just to disregard what's been done already," Nilsen said. Public input will be a key element, as planners assess where people want to go and what challenges they face.
"They have an opportunity to speak their minds about anything having to do with it," he said of Tuesday's session. "What do they want to see? What don't they want to see? What are their hopes for the project? Anything. It's an open format."
Planners want to hear from the public about what parts of town are accessible by biking or walking, what barriers exist and what they would like to be able to get to. Public comments will be complied to determine if there are themes that could help set the direction of the corridor study.
Anyone who can't attend Tuesday can provide input at www.antioch.metroquest.com or visit www.cmap.illinois.gov/antioch for updates and project information.