Bartlett considering residences, shops near Metra station
Bartlett and the Regional Transportation Authority are studying an area near the village's Metra station in hopes of building a development they expect will attract residents and shoppers who regularly use public transit.
Officials are examining the land surrounded by North Avenue, Devon Avenue, Prospect Avenue and Western Avenue to determine where a transit-oriented development featuring both residential and commercial space could be built.
Once a study of the area is completed and officials hear from residents and business owners, Bartlett and the RTA will determine the size of the development and what it could look like.
"One of the goals of this is to increase ridership," said Bartlett Economic Development Coordinator Tony Fradin. "And this will help improve the downtown business district."
The project is one of several transit-oriented developments, usually mixed-use communities located within a half mile of a train station, the RTA is studying across the suburbs. Other towns where studies are taking place include Palatine, Mount Prospect, Libertyville, Hanover Park and Elgin.
The development will be "higher density, though not high density," said RTA Manager of Local Planning and Programming Heather Tabbert. Its main goal is "to promote transit and encourage walking and getting away from car dependency," she said.
Weekday ridership at the Bartlett Metra station was 1,081 passengers a day in 2014, up from 1,027 passengers in 2002. But ridership remains lower than in 1995, when 1,213 riders boarded Metra trains at the Bartlett station daily.
A RTA grant will pay for up to $100,000 of planning work. The village has agreed add another $25,000 of its money for planning.
The planning and information gathering stage is expected to last eight to 10 months, and once it concludes, the RTA will present a plan to the village.
"Included in the plan will be implementation strategies with steps to take to accomplish the vision we have," said Michael Horsting, RTA's principal analyst of local planning and programs.
And while the development will promote the use of public transit, officials don't expect there to be fewer spots for residents to park.
The village will host a public meeting on the transit-oriented development plan Nov. 4.