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January 16, 2001

Governor Announces $3.7 Million in Grants to Assist Community Land Development and Growth Projects

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced a total of $3.7 million in grants for 41 communities to help them develop plans for future growth that will protect and improve the quality of life.

The grants are from the Illinois Tomorrow Corridor Program, created by Ryan to promote planning at the local level that integrates land development, transportation and infrastructure needs.

"Urban areas have experienced phenomenal population and economic growth and that trend is projected to continue," Gov. Ryan said. "We not only have an opportunity but a responsibility to direct that growth in a way that promotes livable communities."

Illinois Tomorrow Corridor grants set a new direction by encouraging local governments to forge region-wide partnerships that include private sector and community interest groups.

"Working together and focusing on how development and infrastructure decisions made today impact tomorrow is the way to keep our communities livable and growing for the next generation," Gov. Ryan added.

Earlier this year, Governor Ryan created his "Illinois Tomorrow-balanced Growth for a Better Quality of Life" Initiative to ensure that existing state program that affect growth are implemented effectively and to investigate new solutions to the problems facing our communities. The goal of Illinois Tomorrow is to encourage the creation, expansion and restoration of livable communities in Illinois in partnership with local government.

"Local officials are critical to this initiative," Gov. Ryan said. "Without the combined efforts of our local leaders-in conjunction with state government-an innovative, comprehensive program such as this simply would not work."

A list of the planning projects is attached.


Central Illinois

Springfield, $50,000 for A Welcome Open Door to Springfield - Illinois Capital City. This project will develop a revitalization plan for both Clear Lake Avenue and Peoria Road as gateways to the city. The plan will tie in to the Lincoln Presidential Library that is expected to be completed in 2003.

Decatur, $100,000 for City of Decatur Urban Corridor Revitalization Strategy. The purpose of this project is to provide policy guidance to city staff, elected officials, and community leaders for development along two major transportation routes going through the City. The guidance will include an urban design theme for the corridors along with aesthetic improvements, and efficient access/traffic management and incentives for redevelopment.

Pekin & Creve Coeur, $100,000 for Tazewell County Traffic Congestion Mitigation Corridor Study. This study will provide detailed recommendations for how the cities of Pekin and Creve Coeur, and the region generally, can develop an efficient transportation corridor extending from Route 9 to Interstate 474. The recommendations will focus on promoting balanced development, preservation of open space, promoting development within the cities' boundaries, and facilitating inter-governmental cooperation on land-use and zoning issues.

Peoria, $95,000 for The River City Gateway: The Greater Peoria Regional Airport Connection to Downtown Peoria. This project will examine the existing connection between the Greater Peoria Regional Airport and downtown Peoria. The project will review the existing routes, evaluate the effects of improvements on adjacent neighborhoods, and provide a recommendation to state and local officials for a selected corridor. The primary participants in this study include the city of Peoria, Peoria County, and the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission.

McLean County, $60,000 for Land Development Guide. This project will develop a site plan for a conservation subdivision, site development guidelines and will evaluate selected growth management strategies to address the management of urban growth in McLean County with emphasis on the unincorporated growth areas on the urban fringe of the Bloomington-Normal metro area. The project provides for the evaluation and implementation of locally adopted comprehensive planning strategies and opportunities for innovative housing developments and preservation of open space in proximity to transportation facilities and major employment centers. Development of the guide will involve close cooperation with a number of public and private interests.

Southwestern Illinois

Alton, $25,000 for Plan Applying New Urbanism Concepts to a Mature City. Since Alton is landlocked, the plan will focus on redevelopment and opportunities presented by tourism. The plan will address the city's decline of a once strong industrial base, more than 51 percent of the population with low/moderate incomes, the impact of the new I-255 Alton by-pass, the ever-changing make-up of the downtown district and the planned revitalization of the Hunterstown neighborhood.

Belleville, $37,000 for South Illinois Street Corridor Study. The main goal is of this study is to determine the most effective options for the redevelopment of the South Illinois Street corridor. The study will identify improvements to the roadway, building facades, streetscape as well as the best use of the depot station area as it relates to the East Belleville Bikeway and South Illinois Street redevelopment.

Bethalto, $35,000 for Corridor 255 Master Plan. This study will create a comprehensive plan for the I-255 corridor encompassing the St. Louis Regional Airport and the village of Bethalto including Corbin Street. The plan will guide future road improvements and land use proposals for commercial and residential developments in the area.

Caseyville, $20,000 for Illinois 157 and Old Caseyville Road Intersection Improvement Study. The study will address the safety concerns at this intersection and identify potential realignment/relocation options to allow property owners to develop the adjacent land. Improvements at this intersection are a high priority for Caseyville as well as Collinsville.

East St. Louis, $65,000 for East St. Louis Tomorrow. This grant will fund a comprehensive redevelopment plan that will identify land development and infrastructure opportunities and produce promotional materials in an effort to stimulate economic development. The plan will also focus on enhancing the proposed "Freedom Trails, Legacy of Hope," a project commemorating African American History.

Edwardsville, $50,000 for South Buchanan/Hale Avenue Intermodal Intersection Plan. This plan is for the proposed extension of Hale Avenue to South Buchanan (Illinois 159) to serve as the main entrance to Lewis & Clark Community College, Edwardsville Campus. The new entrance would also interconnect with the extension of the Madison County Transit District's proposed bicycle trail and the reconfigured entrance to the Market Basket Shopping Center. The plan will address the inter-relationships of car, bus, and bike transportation in that area to reduce existing and future congestion.

Granite City, $50,000 for Truck Route/Transportation Study - This study will analyze the existing truck routes and traffic corridors within the community and recommend how to increase accessibility and traffic flow within the community. The study is prompted by the impacts of the proposed high speed rail corridor, an increase in industrial development along the Illinois Route 3 corridor, downtown redevelopment and the downtown public transportation transfer center.

Highland, $54,900 for Highland Connections: A Regional Corridors Project. This project will produce a multi-modal transportation plan that will be integrated into the ongoing process of updating the Highland comprehensive plan. The project area includes the City of Highland, Helvetia and Saline Townships, and the balance of eastern Madison County. The project also seeks to establish closer ties among regional and local entities, enlist community volunteerism as a major facet of planning, and provide guidance for the community's future to make it sustainable and effective.

St. Clair County, $100,000 for MetroLink Corridor Planning Partnership. This project is the first phase of a MetroLink Corridor and Station Areas Development plan. The plan will integrate transportation, quality of life, and economic development issues. Other participants in this project are St. Clair County Transit District, Belleville, St. Louis, Fairview Heights, Shiloh, Swansea, and Washington Park.

Wood River, $80,000 for Wood River: Illinois 255 Corridor Development Plan. This project will create a strategic development plan for the planned llIinois 255 extension that will include land-use and future community needs along with a timeline for facility and infrastructure improvements.

Northwestern Illinois

Moline, $50,000 for North Rock River Corridor Study. This study focuses on future land use and development and their impact on highway transportation throughout the North Rock River Corridor and will produce a corridor development plan. Growth in this area is expected to increase after the new bridge crossing the Rock River is in place. rapidly.

East Moline, $100,000 for Illinois 84/92 Transportation Corridor Study. This study will examine future land use and transportation options in a highway and rail corridor that runs from Interstate 80 along IL84 to IL92 west. It is part of the overall Quad Cities Smart Growth Project. The study which has four components - inventory, opportunities, alternatives and consensus -- will help determine how the area should develop.

Winnebago County, $80,000 for Planning for Tomorrow: Winnebago County Smart Growth Initiative. The purpose of this project is to create a better understanding of cost-effective planning incorporating infrastructure, transportation and land use. It includes the education of elected officials and the public at large. The two goals of the project are 1) to prepare a document that summarizes cost-effective planning options which can be used by future elected and appointed officials and the public at large as a reference; and 2) to build a consensus toward which projects can be identified for future funding requests. The ultimate goal is for the county to be a part of area planning in the long term, and to ensure that smart growth is the guiding principle in that process.

Northeastern Illinois

Berkeley, $50,000 for St Charles Road Streetscape Improvement Plan. This is part of the St. Charles Road Corridor Improvement Plan that includes reconstruction of the road, improvements in walkability, and open space. The project seeks to enhance the existing infrastructure as well as to make the best use of planned improvements.

Berwyn, $47,000 for Roosevelt Road Corridor Redevelopment Study. The purpose of this study, sponsored jointly by the city of Berwyn and the village of Oak Park, is to facilitate collaboration between the two municipalities that will lead to the development of a shared vision and redevelopment strategy for the Roosevelt Road Corridor. The project includes a series of meetings facilitated by a professional planning firm to gather input from all stakeholders including all business and property owners along Roosevelt Road, other taxing bodies, and residential property owners contiguous to Roosevelt Road.

Country Club Hills, $175,000 for 183rd Street Corridor Project: Main Street of the South Suburbs. Co-sponsored by the villages of Homewood, Hazel Crest, and Tinley Park, this project will create an Economic Development and Marketing Plan which will serve as a toolbox for local municipalities and organizations to improve the economic climate, business environment and community image of the 183rd Street Corridor and surrounding communities. The project will assist in formulating a land use plan to address the use of existing infrastructure, transit-oriented development, and business retention to ensure economic viability. The plan will focus on infill development, which will promote the use and/or reuse of existing roads, buildings and vacant property. This project has the support of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the local Chambers of Commerce, Prairie State College, and local businesses.

Evanston, $50,000 for Evanston Bicycle System Improvement Plan. The plan is designed to encourage bicycle use by: 1) evaluating the existing street and bike path systems and recommending bike routes and/or bike lanes that link major destinations and connect with bicycle routes and paths in neighboring communities; 2) evaluating the need for bike storage facilities with particular attention to commuter rail stations, schools, parks, recreation facilities, and business areas; 3) identifying safety issues related to the use of bikes on sidewalks v. in streets in business areas; and 4) developing a signage system to mark bike routes and to direct those on bike routes to major destinations. Evanston will be working in conjunction with neighboring municipalities, local school districts, park districts, and regional mass transit providers as well as bicycle, environmental, and business organizations.

Frankfort, $32,000 for Frankfort Area Bicycle/Open Space Corridor Study. The village will create a bicycle/open space regional master plan that incorporates current and future development trends within Frankfort and the surrounding areas. This project will have a regional impact and will include coordination with adjacent villages, local park districts, and the Old Plank Road Trail Management Commission, and the American League of Bicyclists.

Joliet, $270,000 for Land Use and Community Planning Study for the Proposed Outer Circumferential Rail Line Corridor. Participants include the Northwest Municipal Conference, South Suburban Mayors and Managers Conference, DuPage Mayors and Managers, Kane County Council of Mayors, Lake County Council of Mayors, and Will County Governmental League.

The study will develop a preferred land-use scenario. Transit oriented development planning and travel demand analysis for the proposed commuter rail line will help determine the feasibility and likely successfulness of a multi-jurisdictional, one-of-a kind transit option that will potentially move thousands of people out of their cars for suburb-to-suburb travel.

Kane County, $245,000 for Kane County Transportation Corridor Planning. A travel demand model will combine available transportation data and population/employment projections to establish County transportation corridors of concern. A working paper will be developed for each corridor addressing the problems, alternatives tested, and preferred solutions.

Kankakee, $100,000 for Corridor Preservation Study. The purpose of this study is corridor preservation for both an east-west corridor and a north-south corridor. The study ties in to a feasibility study that is being conducted for an additional interchange on Interstate 57 between Bradley and Manteno. It addresses the problem of truck traffic that currently is going through the heart of the urban area.

Kendall County, $40,300 for Land Resources Management Plan, Metra Corridor Update. This project will update the Kendall County Land Resources Management Plan for the northern three townships of the County. The update is prompted by the proposed Metra commuter rail extension into the northern portion of the County. It will be used as a planning tool for future land uses around the Metra commuter line extension. The project will also include more detailed planning around the Orchard Road and U.S. Route 34 corridors. The County will include input from local townships, municipalities, other local governments, and non-profit and corporate organizations.

Lockport, $50,000 for 159th Street (Illinois 7) Commercial Corridor Plan. This project involves developing a master plan for the upcoming commercial development that will affect the 159th Street corridor. The strategic plan will include transportation and traffic designs that will alleviate congestion and sprawl as well as determine how to create a desirable visual image that will allow this corridor to be a positive gateway to the community.

Lombard, $40,000 for Great Western Trail Access Improvement Plan. This project involves developing a plan for access improvements on the Great Western Trail corridor in Lombard. The planning work will include project feasibility, standards of construction, right-of-way needs, impact on congestion reduction on the St. Charles Rd. - Grace St. intersection, public input, coordination with DuPage County, preliminary cost estimate and cost sharing. DuPage County, Villa Park, and the Lombard Park District are expected to participate in this project.

McHenry, $45,000 for McHenry Riverwalk Phase I Study. The City and the McHenry Economic Development Commission will develop plans for a proposed Riverwalk along the Fox River and Boone Creek in McHenry to enhance the economic vitality of the City, encourage reinvestment/redevelopment in downtown, increase tourism and provide improved quality of life.

Melrose Park, $80,000 for Downtown Broadway Avenue Business District Redevelopment. This project is intended to 1) create a downtown development/revitalization plan that integrates rail and bus service with mixed use developments; and 2) develop a transit oriented/mixed use development plan to increase transportation options, improve walkability, and enhance access to transit.

Naperville, $95,000 for North-South Transportation/Transit/Rail Study along Washington Street to I-88 Tech Corridor. The study will focus on the potential to establish a strong north-south transportation link along the Washington Street Arterial Corridor, connecting with the east-west technological and research corridor located along I-88. Emphasis will be on congestion reduction, providing an array of travel choices and link destination points to increase and improve the mobility of people between home, work and places of commerce.

North Chicago, $100,000 for North Chicago Parking and Transportation Analysis. This project will identify bicycle paths, pedestrian rights-of-way, and vehicular circulation through the downtown area. Also included is a vehicle parking study to determine the impact a downtown revitalization on the existing parking facilities and the potential need for additional parking.

Oak Park, $50,000 for Alleys for Bikes. The project will evaluate, develop and promote the use of selected public alleys as bicycle routes for traveling from residential neighborhoods to mass transit stations. The project will use the concept of adaptive reuse in utilizing existing underused village infrastructure in a non-traditional mode to address both auto congestion and air pollution. The goal is to provide an alternate means of traveling through the village that would reduce dependence on the auto, provide safe alternative routes for bicyclists, and increase access to and use of public mass transit systems.

Park Ridge, $30,000 for Dee Park Area Plan. This project will develop a plan for the Dee Park area to create a mixed-use commercial and residential area oriented towards a more functional and aesthetically pleasing Metra station. The intention is to enhance the physical connection between this transit-focused area and the surrounding land uses. Participants also include the Regional Transportation Authority and the Economic Development Corporation of Park Ridge.

Plainfield (and Kendall County), $150,000 for WIKADUKE Trail Access Management and Land Planning. The village of Plainfield and Kendall County will develop detailed guidelines in a section of the proposed WIKADUKE Trail corridor, including access management, that will integrate the development of transportation facilities with land use management.

Richmond, $80,000 for Vision Plan for Richmond. The project will allow key "stakeholders" in Richmond to explore and evaluate alternative future visions for the village and the surrounding area, define the preferred future for the village, and identify the key initial steps that need to be taken to achieve the preferred future.

Riverdale, $100,000 for 144th Street Redevelopment Study. This study will determine the best commercial and residential mix in a one-half-mile radius of the 144th street (Ivanhoe) Metra station. The study will include an assessment of the existing structures, physical and telecommunications infrastructures, land uses, and recommendations on zoning and density changes. The study will also include an implementation strategy and financing options to revitalize the station area and the community core. Other participants in the project are the school districts, the local library the park districts, Governor State University, the public transportation agencies, not for profit housing concerns and the commercial stakeholders in the study area.

Tinley Park, $500,000 for Chicago Southland Tomorrow Corridor Initiative. The Tinley Park project will coordinate existing corridor studies in the south and southwest suburbs and produce a long-range transportation plan that integrates transportation with growth and opportunities in the region. Co-sponsors include the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, Southwest Council of Mayors, South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce, Metro Southwest Alliance, Chicago Southland Development Incorporated, I-57 Corridor Council, I-80 Corridor Council, and the Southwest Interstate Corridor Planning Council.

Villa Park, $75,000 for Illinois 64 (North Avenue) Reconstruction Impact/Improvement Study. The study will identify the impact of the North Avenue reconstruction project on a variety of land uses along the corridor, plan for future consolidations and/or redevelopments, and propose a variety of streetscaping, landscaping, signage and sidewalk improvements to be implemented in conjunction with the reconstruction North Avenue planned by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Western Springs, $100,000 for Burlington Northern Railroad Mixed Use Transit Corridor. This project will identify the mixed-use and transit oriented development potentials along the Burlington Northern Railroad through the village of Western Springs. Issues to be addressed include: 1) the location of the current Metra station and platforms with regard to safety, access, etc.; 2) the possible development of pedestrian underpasses to provide secure pedestrian crossing; 3) traffic circulation and parking conditions within the downtown area; 4) pedestrian and bike conditions and how to improve linkages; 5) potential for new housing and business development in association with transportation improvements; and 6) streetscape enhancements. Products include 1) an intermodal facility improvement and transportation management system; 2) a land-use and development plan; 3) an implementation action agenda; and 4) a planning program to be adopted as part of the village's comprehensive land use plan.


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