Goal: Promote Equitable Transit-Oriented Development

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Diverse and sustainable development near our transit-rich hubs offer residents and visitors a vibrant retail district with services, balanced parking needs, and a variety of housing prices and choices.


Several stakeholders have expressed interest in using the neighborhood’s strong access to transit to attract transit-oriented development (TOD) to the neighborhood. The CTA Orange Line runs through the study area with stops at Ashland and 35th/Archer. Though the existing density of single-family dwellings surrounding the stations makes the area less prime for TOD, there are ample opportunities near each of these stations, where vacant and/or underutilized lots could support new, denser development.

Well-planned development that capitalizes on the central locations of these two CTA stations could be catalytic projects for McKinley Park, enlivening the existing commercial corridors by bringing additional customers, increasing high quality retail and restaurant space, and enhancing the streetscape.

What is Transit-Oriented Development? TOD concentrates residential and commercial development near transit infrastructure to create density around transit and lessen residents’ dependence on automobiles. By generating compact, mixed-use development and facilitating diverse activities within walkable distances around transit facilities, TOD can lower household transportation costs, improve access to economic opportunities, and enhance quality of life for residents.

Generally, the design of TOD forges a relationship between the built environment and transit — for instance, through the orientation of buildings, walkways, and greenways — to encourage ridership and an active relationship between residents and their transit assets. While TOD is a healthier and more sustainable way of building cities than auto-oriented development, TOD can be a driver of displacement, reducing a neighborhood’s affordability and resulting in advantages that cannot be enjoyed by existing and long-time residents.

If planned and implemented inclusively and intentionally, equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD) could serve as a driver of positive transformation, ensuring that a more vibrant, prosperous, healthy, and resilient community — connected to opportunities throughout the city and region — may be enjoyed by all residents, and in particular, low-income communities and residents of color who stand to gain the most from greater prosperity and connectivity.

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