Reporting Kris Habermehl
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CHICAGO (CBS) — The stereotype of suburbia is one of broad driveways and busy roads, where even a quick trip to the drugstore for a roll of paper towels requires a car trip.
But as CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl reports, a new report says many suburbs are transit-friendly – that is, hospitable for those who are not traveling with a car. The study focused on the convenience for commuters to walk to train stations, the frequency of Metra commuter trains, and the amenities offered at transit facilities.
The study released Wednesday by the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University evaluated about 250 Chicago suburbs for 47 factors, the Chicago Tribune reported. The factors included everything from the seating, restrooms and ticket offices in train facilities, to the availability of free public wi-fi.
Arlington Heights was among the suburbs that received high marks, for the town’s walkable the Metra station.
Walkability and easy train access was part of the plan for redevelopment in Arlington Heights the 1990s, the Tribune reported. One of the efforts to that end was the construction of the
LaGrange and Wilmette also ranked high on the list, the Tribune reported.
Overall, the north and northwest suburbs fared better than those in the south, in large part train stations are often more remote in south suburban areas, the Tribune reported.
Distant suburbs and exurbs scored lower, given that their development density tended to be lower, the Tribune reported. Some Metra lines such as the Heritage Corridor and SouthWest did not fare well in the study either, because of limited Metra service, the newspaper reported.
The report did not include every suburb. “City suburbs” such as Evanston and Oak Park were not included, as they are both served by Chicago Transit Authority ‘L’ trains, the newspaper reported.