La Grange Ranks as Top Transit Suburb of Metropolitan Chicago

DePaul study lists 20 best communities on station building, grounds, parking, nearby amenities,

La Grange has been selected the No. 1 top transit suburb of Metropolitan Chicago, according to a study released today by the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development based at DePaul University in Chicago.

In a statement, Village President Elizabeth Asperger said, “La Grange’s redevelopment efforts have included significant emphasis on transit-oriented development, from pedestrian-friendly amenities to housing options that enable residents to take advantage of excellent public transportation facilities available in this village.”

 “We take pride in offering our residents and visitors a walkable and vibrant community and we are delighted to know that our efforts have been recognized as successful.”

The DePaul University team considered 45 measurable factors to rank the best transit suburbs based on their station buildings and platforms; station grounds and parking;  walkable downtown amenities adjacent to the station; and degree of community connectivity to public transportation, as measured by the use of commuter rail services.

The team made at least three visits to each of 25 finalists before ranking the 20 best.

About La Grange, the report states,”This classic ‘railroad suburb’ located on the heavily-traveled (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) commuter lines offers exceptional community connectivity to public ransportation  in a true ‘walkers paradise’ setting. No other station with such a high walk score (which is a near-perfect 98 in La Grange) has such a large share of the population that lives near the station arriving on bike or foot. The result is a dynamic public transportation culture that brings the entire community to life during rush hour, when both of the community’s rail stations become veritable beehives of activity.

“The remarkably clean and well-managed LaGrange Road station, located at the heart of town, has free Wi-Fi and on-the- go coffee. Connecting bus service is nothing exceptional and the station suffers from a relatively small waiting room with restrictive hours. The depot groundd, however, boast excellent bike-store facilities, a well-lit parking area and attractive landscaping. Amtrak service and the conveniences provided by the nearby station at Stone Avenue give La Grange a bundle of amenities that no other finalist can match.

In the final 20, La Grange ranked 8th for station buildings and platforms; 6th for station grounds and parking; 1st for walkable amenities and services and 3rd for community connectivity to transit. 

Scores for each community are derived from published data for all 250 suburbs in the metropolitan Chicago region and data collected on a series of field visits to the 25 suburbs selected as finalists. The report provides index scores of each finalist and a ranking of the 20 suburbs most worthy of recognition for their transit-friendly characteristics.

This ranking is not only a useful tool for prospective homeowners and real estate professionals, but also planners, designers and developers seeking to create attractive suburban environments that reduce reliance on private automobile travel, the study states.

The top 20 transit suburbs are:


1. LaGrange

2. Wilmette

3. Arlington Heights

4. Glenview

5. Elmhurst

6. Wheaton

7. Downers Grove

8. Naperville

9. Des Plaines

10. Mt. Prospect

11. Glen Ellyn

12. Northbrook

13. Park Ridge

14. Westmont

15. Western Springs

16. Homewood

17. Deerfield

18. Palatine

19. Highland Park

20. Tinley Park

Berwyn, Hinsdale, Lake Forest, Lombard, and Winnetka were also finalists and featured in the report.  They did not consider "city suburbs" with  CTA rapid-transit service to their downtowns, such as Evanston and Oak Park.

The report is available at  http://www.toptransitsuburbs.com.

Bruno Fontana July 26, 2012 at 03:53 PM
What about Stone Avenue? Hate to be a cynic and I'm really happy & proud of this laurel our town has recieved (great for prop values!) HOWEVER...just a bout a mile down the road is a historic structure that is literally crumbling, the inside is dank, the north side of the tracks looks like something out of 3:10 to Yuma. We've read repeatedly of a supposed re-do which has yet to come to fruition. I know this may spark discussion of who's responsibility it is for station maintanance but come on, I'm just sayin.
Erik Bloecks July 26, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Back in the day the area near Stone Ave Station was the terminus of the Chicago and West towns Trolley line. I also think it was a mistake to take out the pedestrian crossing at Stone Avenue. Even though there was only lights and bells, that was enough to let me know there was a train comming.
Darren McRoy July 27, 2012 at 11:47 PM
The Chaddick study actually gave La Grange credit for Stone Avenue! ... although mostly just for having it there. Sort of an "an extra station is better than nothing" gift.


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