La Grange ranked top transit suburb
An Amtrack passenger train bound for Chicago stops in La Grange. | Jane Michaels~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 3, 2012 6:13AM
CHICAGO — La Grange was ranked as the top transit suburb in the Chicago area based on a report by the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development out of DePaul University.
Western Springs ranked 15th in the same study, and Hinsdale was a finalist indicating it ranked somewhere between 21st and 25th in the study.
The study considered 45 measurable factors to rank the best transit suburbs, based on station buildings and platforms, station grounds and parking, downtown amenities within walking distance of the station and connections available to bus lines or other transit.
La Grange Village President Liz Asperger said the community is thrilled with being named to the top spot, following a designation by Chicago Magazine in 2010 as the best suburban downtown.
“Accolades like this as the top transit-friendly suburb and the best downtown simply don’t come without community investment, which begins with thoughtful planning, carried out by careful execution and requires superb maintenance,” Asperger said. “This award reflects all three.”
Among things considered in assessing stations was bicycle storage, coffee availability, connecting bus service, newspaper sales and general cleanliness.
“Some communities earn distinction for having vibrant pedestrian and retail areas adjacent to their transit stops,” the report states. “Others stand out for their state-of-the-art commuter rail stations or a variety of housing options only steps away from bus and train lines.”
The assessment team made at least three visits to each of 25 finalists before ranking the 20 best. Seven of the top 25 were on the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Metra line. Besides La Grange, Western Springs and Hinsdale, there was Downers Grove ranked seventh, Naperville eighth, Westmont 14th and Berwyn somewhere between 21st and 25th.
After La Grange, the commuter towns in the top five were, in order, Wilmette, Arlington Heights, Glenview and Elmhurst.
The team did not rate “city suburbs,” defined as those with CTA service such as Oak Park.