MPC to debut web-based tool to assess development potential around Chicago's newest bus rapid transit line - Metropolitan Planning Council

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MPC to debut web-based tool to assess development potential around Chicago's newest bus rapid transit line

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Development, transportation experts will discuss Ashland Avenue BRT at MPC Roundtable Sept. 11

(Chicago) ... To improve the city's transit service, the City of Chicago is bringing bus rapid transit (BRT) to two corridors--Central Loop and Ashland Avenue--and planning for a complete BRT system. The nonprofit Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), a strong advocate for BRT in Chicago, is working to ensure that, along with new transit options, the city's investment in BRT leads to economic and community development that improves residents' access to jobs and quality of life. Join MPC on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, in Chicago, for a roundtable discussion and debut of a new interactive mapping tool that will allow developers and others to explore the full potential of BRT.

MPC's new development tool focuses on the first stage of Ashland Avenue BRT, planned for Cortland to 31st streets. The tool allows users to explore in-depth information about land use, development opportunities, demographics and amenities along the five-mile route.

The BRT line that the Chicago Dept. of Transportation (CDOT) and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) are planning for Ashland Avenue will meet international "gold" standards and, once completely built, will run north-south from Irving Park Road to 95th Street, serving almost a quarter of all Chicagoans. Permanent, iconic transit stations planned for the route can--and should--serve as community hubs and attract both residential and retail development that transform the surrounding neighborhoods. Residents, business owners and other stakeholders are encouraged to attend open houses this fall to learn more about the route's first phase of development.

"Like any transportation mode, bus rapid transit's success should be measured by whether it helps more people connect more easily to jobs, schools and other destinations," said MPC Executive Vice President Peter Skosey. "The challenge is to ensure this new investment benefits the local communities, and we think Chicago is up for the challenge."

Reporters are encouraged to attend the event. Please contact Ariel Ranieri, MPC communications assistant, to register, at aranieri@metroplanning.org or 312-863-6020.

What: At this lunchtime forum hosted by the Metropolitan Planning Council, experts will discuss the potential for bus rapid transit to spark economic and community development along Ashland Avenue. MPC will debut a new web-based tool that allows developers and others to identify economic and community development opportunities along the route.

Who:
Melinda Pollack, Vice President for Transit Oriented Development, Enterprise Community Partners;
Walter Hook, Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy;
Annie Weinstock, Director, U.S. and Africa, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy;
Peter Skosey, Executive Vice President of the Metropolitan Planning Council.

When: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Where: Metropolitan Planning Council, 140 S. Dearborn St., Suite 1400, Chicago.

Note: Registration is $30, or $15 for current MPC donors; media may attend at no cost. Lunch is included; you may request vegetarian, vegan or gluten free when you register. 

MPC thanks Freedman Seating/4One for sponsoring this event.

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Chicago, Ill. 60603
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