Illinois Route 53/120 Corridor Land Use Plan
GO TO 2040, metropolitan Chicago's comprehensive regional plan, recommends only five new major capital projects for the region to pursue, including the Central Lake County Corridor. Commonly referred to as the Illinois Route 53/120 project, it will extend IL 53 north from its current terminus at Lake-Cook Road to IL 120 and also includes complementary improvements to IL 120. To ease congestion that has resulted from rapid development of central Lake County in recent decades, this project will improve access and mobility in the county and our region as a whole. GO TO 2040 calls for a 21st Century urban highway — this "modern boulevard" should have a smaller footprint to minimize potential negative impacts while protecting the natural environment and preserving the character of nearby communities.
Shortly after the adoption of GO TO 2040, the Illinois Tollway convened an IL 53/120 Blue Ribbon Advisory Council (BRAC) of key project stakeholders, including CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, to determine whether there was regional consensus on the project and if the Tollway should move forward to develop a feasibility analysis. The BRAC's work concluded with a resolution and summary report in June 2012, which recommended the new highway be built as a four-lane parkway, with all lanes congestion-priced and a speed limit of 45 mph. Consistent with GO TO 2040, the BRAC's report recommended innovative design features, financing options, and market-driven, multijurisdictional land use planning. Specifically, the BRAC recommended that CMAP manage the development of a Corridor Land Use Plan that "integrates land use, transportation, economic development, and open space."
In fall 2013, CMAP will initiate development of the Illinois Route 53/120 Corridor Land Use Plan. This multi-year effort will engage relevant municipalities, Lake County, the Illinois Tollway, the environmental and economic development communities, and other stakeholders in a facilitated, open process to create a plan for land use, open space, local transportation, and economic development within a two-mile buffer of the proposed IL 53/120 right of way. The Corridor Land Use Plan study area is roughly bound by Lake Cook Road on the south, I-94 on the east, and IL 12 on the west.
The Tollway will lead a separate and parallel feasibility analysis to address traffic, tolling, financing, roadway design, and other matters that concern the facility itself. The Tollway's feasibility study progress will be monitored at the following web page. A fact sheet includes a description of the Tollway's feasibility analysis and CMAP's Corridor Land Use Plan.
The Corridor Land Use Plan is intended to be fully consistent with the corridor planning concept described in the BRAC report, as well as to incorporate the principles and recommendations of CMAP's GO TO 2040 plan. It will be based on market-feasible development, providing a balance between economic development, natural resource protection, multi-modal connections, congestion relief, and community character goals across municipalities. The Corridor Land Use Plan will recommend policies and strategies for communities within the study area to incorporate into their own planning documents and processes, as well as implementation actions for communities and other major stakeholders to follow.
Goals of the Corridor Land Use Plan project include:
- Develop strategies to protect and mitigate impacts to communities and environmental resources due to land use changes that are likely to result if the proposed IL 53/120 facility is built.
- Ensure that future local land use and development plans consider economic and market-based data, trends, and realities.
- Develop strategies to address local transportation needs generated by the proposed facility, including multi-modal options.
- Encourage development of vibrant communities in central Lake County.
This web page will be updated periodically to reflect progress on the corridor planning process and to post draft plan materials.
Jason Navota, CMAP Principal, (email@example.com or 312-386-8750)