The RTA is bringing back Transportation Tuesday, its popular four-part webinar series that in 2020 replaced the Annual Planning Workshop due to COVID-19. The free, virtual sessions will allow attendees to hear from experts, ask questions, and learn how the ongoing pandemic is shifting the way planners, economic development experts, and community stakeholders interact with transit.
The Transportation Tuesday series will take place from 1-2:30 p.m. each Tuesday in June with RTA staff and regional and national leaders in transportation planning, economic development, affordable housing, mobility, and data analysis leading discussions about the opportunities, challenges, and resources available to the Chicago region.
Participation is free, but registration is required. Read below for descriptions and registration links to each of the four webinars.
June 7: Centering the Transit-Dependent – COVID-19’s impact on Transit-Oriented Development
Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) has proven successful in bringing a mixture of residential, commercial, office, and public uses to transit station areas. The future of TOD, however, is uncertain given sustained ridership declines brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Chicago region, declines were not uniform across all neighborhoods: While many transit stations and lines experienced ridership declines upwards of 70%, stations in primarily Black and Brown neighborhoods experienced declines that were less drastic. The panel—with representatives from Auburn Gresham, Skokie, Harvey, and Highwood—will examine how this new transit paradigm is changing the way we think about TODs and will dive into the importance of continuing to build near transit with an equity lens. Register here.
Alex Waltz (moderator) is a Senior Planner at the RTA working in the Local Planning and Program Management division. He manages projects funded through the RTA’s Community Planning and Access to Transit programs and is passionate about enhancing the built environment that surrounds transit stops and stations.
Carlos Nelson has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation since 2003. He is a mechanical engineer and certified project manager, by trade, focusing on construction and real estate development. Nelson has been a longtime stakeholder in the Auburn Gresham community; a community he has been a part of all his life, a place where his grandparents have resided since 1963.
Carrie Haberstich, AICP, is the Planning Supervisor for the Village of Skokie and has worked for the Village since 2010. She enjoys using her planning, design, and technological skills to help make the built environment more attractive and pedestrian-, bicycle-, and transit-friendly. Prior to joining Skokie’s planning department, Haberstich worked as a land use planner in the private and public sectors in Brookfield and Glendale, WI.
Molly H. Ekerdt is a Vice President in POAH’s Chicago office, where she leads POAH’s underwriting and transaction structuring and serves as the main staff contact for POAH’s recently acquired Cincinnati portfolio. Ekerdt has worked for POAH Chicago since 2011 as a project manager and senior project manager and has been involved in new construction of affordable housing and complex rehabilitation efforts in Chicago’s Woodlawn and Near West Side neighborhoods.
Nicholas Greifer is an experienced economic development professional responsible for the day-to-day administration of the City of Harvey’s economic development program. He manages the City’s TIF Districts, reviews and coordinates incentive requests, and is the liaison to the business community. Greifer previously served as Community & Economic Development Director for the Village of Brookfield. He was also a Vice President with Kane, McKenna and Associates.
Scott Coren has worked as the City Manager for Highwood, Illinois, since 2014. He graduated with an MS from DePaul University in the Management of Public Services while working for the City of Darien in a variety of different capacities and ultimately as the Assistant City Administrator. He has achieved the credentials of Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the Human Resources Certification Institute and is a Credentialed Manager from ICMA (ICMA-CM).
June 14: Making the Connection – How the RTA’s Interagency Signage Program Helps Solve a Complex Regional Problem
For most, wayfinding signage is likely only thought about if it isn’t there when needed. But in those moments, it becomes clear that signage is a crucial part of a rider’s transit experience. Given that the northeastern Illinois region is home to three transit operators—CTA, Metra, and Pace—it’s surprisingly complex to ensure that signage to guide riders making connections between services is accurate, uniform, accessible, and installed where it’s needed. The RTA’s Interagency Signage Program provides design standards and pulls various interests together to coordinate sign placement throughout the region’s transit system. So far, the program has installed more than 1,000 signs at major transfer points to ensure a more seamless rider experience. Learn more about the process and hear from representatives from Aurora on how the RTA’s coordination has had a positive impact on their community. Register here.
Jon Sung (moderator) is a project manager for the RTA’s Sign Maintenance program and is currently working on the RTA’s Interagency Signage program. Over the past five years, Sung has been passionate about providing communities with uniform wayfinding signage to facilitate transfers at CTA, Pace, and Metra stations in Chicago and the collar counties.
As Senior Planner for the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development in Aurora, Illinois, Alex Minnella brings planning, urban design, policy design, and economic development experience in both public and private practice. He is passionate about creating or enhancing vibrant, authentic, and sustainable communities. He strongly believes that the most successful projects involve meaningful public engagement, providing all in a community the opportunity to have their voice heard.
Derrick Winston is the Asst. Superintendent of Fleet & Facilities Maintenance for the City of Aurora. He leads daily operations and maintenance of the Aurora Transportation Center and the Route 59 Transportation Center buildings and grounds. Winston has been a City of Aurora employee for 20 years.
June 21: The Future of the Curb – How Curb Management Strategies are Changing and Who’s Leading the Charge
While managing curb space in cities has always been a challenge, the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the need for improved planning for the curb as increased deliveries compete with other uses. Curbside management seeks to inventory, optimize, allocate, and manage curb space to maximize mobility, safety, and access for a wide variety of curb demands. Working with the City of Chicago, the RTA is currently embarking on its first Curb Management Plan in the Kimball Brown Line station area. The City’s project manager and a business owner from the plan area will weigh in on the challenges and opportunities they’ve experienced throughout the process. Nationwide experts will also provide insights on what good curb planning involves in this time of rapid change. Register here.
Robert Morris (moderator) is a Senior Analyst in the Local Planning and Program Management Division of the RTA. In this role, Morris provides technical expertise for program and project management activities for the federally funded Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities (Section 5310) program and manages transit plans in support of the RTA’s Community Planning and Access to Transit programs. Prior to joining the RTA in 2021, Robert worked as a Planner for the City of Columbus, Ohio.
Carmen Martinez is the Northwest Coordinating Planner with the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development. Her work includes city planning, project management, and urban planning studies. In her previous architectural roles on educational and healthcare facility projects, she has a wide range of experience from consultant coordination, implementation, project management, and integration of building information modeling.
Chrissy Mancini Nichols is Walker Consultants’ National Director for Curb Management and Mobility. She is leading a research and development initiative with U.S. cities to develop curb management plans, regulations, policies, and access fees. Nichols was formerly the Director of Transportation at Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council. She co-hosts Mondays at the Overhead Wire and blogs at My Curious City.
Pierce Canser leads the Parking & Mobility Hubs Team at King County Metro in Seattle, WA. The team works to establish easier and more creative ways for people to access transit during the first or last mile of their trip. He brings 10 years of curb management planning experience at two industry-leading transit agencies. This involved bus stops, layover, pick-up/drop-off zones for shared use mobility options, and more.
Mary Catherine Snyder is a Parking Strategist for the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Curbside Management team. Over the last 20 years, Snyder has worked on a variety of curbside management policy, programs, and technology projects. She manages a team of curbspace planners working to settle curbside access priority, mobile parking payment, the urban goods delivery strategy, neighborhood parking and access planning, and the Performance-Based Parking Pricing Program for paid parking rates.
June 28: Accessing Transportation Data in the Chicagoland Region – CMAP’s Data Hub and the RTA’s RTAMS Website
The RTA’s Mapping and Statistics website (RTAMS) and CMAP’s Data Hub are two useful open data platforms in the Chicagoland area that help experts make data-based decisions about the region’s transportation network. Panelists from both agencies will discuss how each of these platforms provide various forms of data in a transparent and accessible way. Attendees will learn what datasets and tools are available on these platforms and how to use them. Several real-life use cases for the data sets will also be discussed. By the end of the presentation, attendees will become better accustomed with the websites and will be empowered to incorporate this knowledge into their own line of work. Register here.
Brad Thompson is the Data Services Manager at the RTA. His duties range from managing the RTAMS website to various mapping efforts. He has worked at the RTA for 20 years. Prior to the RTA, he worked at Pace Suburban Bus Service for over 10 years, working in a number of different capacities.
Hersh Singh is a Principal Analyst at the RTA where he has worked for over 12 years. He specializes in web GIS and market analysis. His recent survey work and web GIS solutions have been featured in multiple publications. Prior to the RTA, he received his Master’s Degree in Urban Planning & Policy from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) where he was also a research assistant at the Urban Transportation Center (UTC).
Chris Szmurlo is a Senior Analyst at the RTA, where he has worked for the past six years. Prior to the RTA, he received his Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and worked as an intern in the Planning Departments of several Illinois municipalities.
Alexis McAdams is an associate analyst with the Research and Innovation group at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). Alexis works on data analysis and maintenance across a variety of projects involving land use modeling, socioeconomic forecasting, and geospatial visualization.