The City of Blue Island Transit-Oriented Development study recommended improving the pedestrian environment between the Metra Electric and Rock Island District stations that are located within 500 feet of each other and where significant passenger transferring between the stations occur. The study also recommended providing streetscaping and guidance signage enhancements from the two stations to downtown Blue Island and Saint Francis Hospital, which was renamed to MetroSouth Medical Center in 2008.
The study was completed in May, 1999. The RTA recently completed a Phase II Transit Corridor Study which developed conceptual development programs for two parcels in the TOD area; one parcel is an under-utilized parking area Southeast of the Vermont Street Rock Island station and the other is adjacent to the station. Additionally, through an RTA Pilot Project providing implementation technical assistance, a new zoning district called the Uptown Transit-Oriented District was created and formally adopted into the City Zoning Ordinance on June 14, 2012. The new regulations can be found here.
In 2012 Metra received a grant from the Innovation, Coordination and Enhancement (ICE) Program for improvements to the Blue Island, Vermont Street Interagency Transfer Station. This project includes additional interagency signage at multiple locations, including both Metra stations. Additionally, the RTA chose Blue Island as part of the 2013 Community Planning Program to work with ULI to assemble a developer discussion panel to provide input, guidance and advice to the City as they work to attract TOD investment on a City-owned parcel adjacent to the 119th Street Metra station. This discussion took place on August 12, 2013 and a summary of this discussion can be found in the Study Documents. The City is currently working to implement the recommendations from this discussion.
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