Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Proposed Transit Improvements to the Orange Line, Cook County, IL, 45271-45273 [E9-20965]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 168 / Tuesday, September 1, 2009 / Notices Issued in Washington, DC, on August 25, 2009. Jo Strang, Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety/ Chief Safety Officer. [FR Doc. E9–20966 Filed 8–31–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Proposed Transit Improvements to the Orange Line, Cook County, IL mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. SUMMARY: The FTA, as the Federal lead agency, and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) intend to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Orange Line Extension Project in Cook County, Illinois. CTA operates the rapid transit system in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. The proposed project, described more completely within, would extend the Orange Line, a heavy rail transit line, to connect Midway Station at the Midway International Airport to the Ford City shopping center. The purpose of this Notice of Intent is to alert interested parties regarding the intent to prepare the EIS and to provide information on the nature of the proposed project and possible alternatives to invite public participation in the EIS process. DATES: Written comments on the scope of the EIS, including the project’s purpose and need, the alternatives to be considered, the impacts to be evaluated, and the methodologies to be used in the evaluations should be sent to CTA on or before October 27, 2009. See ADDRESSES below for the address to which written public comments may be sent. A public scoping meeting to accept comments on the scope of the EIS will be held on the following date: • Monday, September 21, 2009; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; at the Hancock College Preparatory High School, 4034 W. 56th St., Chicago, IL 60629. The buildings used for the scoping meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Any individual who requires special assistance, such as a sign language interpreter, to participate in the scoping meeting should contact Mr. Darud Akbar, Government and Community Relations Officer, at 312– 681–2708 or dakbar@transitchicago.com, five days prior to the meeting. VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:18 Aug 31, 2009 Jkt 217001 Scoping materials describing the project purpose and need and the alternatives proposed for analysis will be available at the meetings and on the CTA Web site http:// www.transitchicago.com/OrangeEIS. Paper copies of the scoping materials may also be obtained from Mr. Darud Akbar, Government and Community Relations Officer, at 312–681–2708 or dakbar@transitchicago.com. An interagency scoping meeting will be held on Thursday, September 24 at 1:30 p.m. at CTA Headquarters, in Conference Room 2C, 567 W. Lake Street, Chicago, IL 60661. Representatives of Native American tribal governments and of all Federal, State, regional and local agencies that may have an interest in any aspect of the project will be invited to be participating or cooperating agencies, as appropriate. ADDRESSES: Comments will be accepted at the public scoping meetings or they may be sent to Mr. Jeffrey Busby, General Manager, Strategic Planning, Chicago Transit Authority, P.O. Box 7602, Chicago, IL 60680–7602, or via e-mail at OrangeExtension@transit chicago.com. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. David Werner, Community Planner, Federal Transit Administration, Region V, 200 West Adams Street, Suite 320, Chicago, IL 60606, phone 312–353– 3879, e-mail David.Werner@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scoping The FTA and CTA invite all interested individuals and organizations, public agencies, and Native American Tribes to comment on the scope of the EIS, including the project’s purpose and need, the alternatives to be studied, the impacts to be evaluated, and the evaluation methods to be used. Comments should address (1) alternatives that may better achieve the project’s need and purposes at less cost or with fewer adverse impacts, and (2) any significant environmental impacts relating to the alternatives. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) ‘‘scoping’’ (40 CFR 1501.7) has specific and fairly limited objectives, one of which is to identify the significant issues associated with alternatives that will be examined in detail in the document, while simultaneously limiting consideration and development of issues that are not truly significant. It is in the NEPA scoping process that potentially significant environmental impacts— those that give rise to the need to PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45271 prepare an environmental impact statement—should be identified; impacts that are deemed not to be significant need not be developed extensively in the context of the impact statement, thereby keeping the statement focused on impacts of consequence. Transit projects may also generate environmental benefits; these should be highlighted as well—the impact statement process should draw attention to positive impacts, not just negative impacts. Once the scope of the environmental study, including significant environmental issues to be addressed, is settled, an annotated outline of the document will be prepared and shared with interested agencies and the public. The outline serves at least three worthy purposes, including (1) documenting the results of the scoping process; (2) contributing to the transparency of the process; and (3) providing a clear roadmap for concise development of the environmental document. Purpose and Need for the Project The purpose of the Orange Line Extension project is to improve access to the existing Orange Line for southwest side and southwest suburban residents and businesses, support the area’s ongoing economic development efforts, and strengthen the competiveness of transit in the reverse commute market. The need for the project is based on the following considerations: access to the Orange Line is currently constrained by limited parking availability; access to the Orange Line by bus or auto is unreliable due to congestion approaching the existing terminal station; and few uncongested roadways are available to access the current Orange Line terminal because of wider than usual arterial street spacing, which limits mobility for residents and businesses. Project Location and Environmental Setting The proposed heavy rail transit (HRT) project area lies about 10 miles southwest of the Chicago Central Area (commonly referred to as the ‘‘Loop’’). The limits of the project area are 59th Street on the north and 79th Street on the south. Midway International Airport is located in the northwestern portion of the project area. The project area includes parts of the community areas of Ashburn, Clearing, and West Lawn within the City of Chicago, and is adjacent to the Village of Bedford Park and the City of Burbank. The project area is highly developed, with significant residential (primarily single family), industrial, transportation E:\FR\FM\01SEN1.SGM 01SEN1 45272 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 168 / Tuesday, September 1, 2009 / Notices mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES and commercial (retail and office) developments. The locally preferred alternative (LPA) for the proposed Orange Line Extension project was approved by the Chicago Transit Board for further study in the EIS on August 12, 2009. The proposed Orange Line Extension would extend the heavy rail transit line from Midway Station at the Midway International Airport south along the Belt Railway Company (BRC) right-ofway from 59th Street to Marquette Road, cross the BRC Clearing Yard and terminate on Cicero Avenue. The extension would include 2.3 new route miles of rapid transit to the existing Orange Line and one additional station at approximately 7600 S. Cicero Avenue, with new bus terminal and parking facilities. Alternatives The Orange Line Extension Final Alternatives Analysis Report (2009) prepared by CTA identified three alternatives for further consideration in the EIS. The three alternatives include: a No Build Alternative, Transportation System Management (TSM) Alternative, and the Fixed Guideway Alternative. No-Build Alternative: The No Build Alternative is defined as the existing transportation system, plus any committed transportation improvements. Committed transportation improvements include projects that are already in the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) financially constrained Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The Orange Line project area has one road improvement project included in the FY 2007–2012 TIP; the Cicero Avenue Smart Corridor Project from 37th Street to 63rd Street scheduled for completion in 2009. Bus transit service under the No Build Alternative would be focused on the preservation of existing services and projects. The transit network within the project area is projected to be substantially the same as it is now. All elements of the No Build Alternative are included in each of the other alternatives. Transportation System Management (TSM) Alternative: A TSM Alternative is proposed because it is required as part of the New Starts evaluative process; in this case, it does not meet the purposes of and need for the proposed project. The TSM Alternative is Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) that would operate west on 59th Street from the 59th Street Midway Station bus terminal to Cicero Avenue, and then south on Cicero Avenue from 59th Street to approximately 76th Street. Proposed VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:18 Aug 31, 2009 Jkt 217001 BRT service would operate in mixed traffic with traffic signal priority on the Cicero Avenue segment. The TSM Alternative is 2.3 miles long and would not include any intermediate stops. There would be no exclusive lanes along the Cicero Avenue portion of the route. A new park and ride facility would be constructed at the proposed terminal stop at approximately 7600 S. Cicero. Bus route 67 67th/69th/71st would be re-routed to terminate at the new Ford City Station. Fixed Guideway Alternative/Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA): The proposed LPA would operate partly in a trench and partly at-grade along the BRC right-of-way between the existing Midway station and approximately 6400 south, where it would transition to an elevated structure above Marquette Road. The proposed route would travel under 59th Street and 63rd Street allowing those cross streets to remain open to traffic. It then would veer to the southwest over the BRC Clearing Yard and then continue south on an elevated structure in the median of Cicero Avenue to a new Ford City terminal station located on Cicero Avenue at approximately 76th Street. The LPA is 2.3 miles long and would not include any intermediate stops. The conceptual alignment design for the elevated structure at Marquette Road would allow for a future station in that vicinity. The Ford City terminal station would include a park-and-ride facility and an improved bus terminal. The alternative assumes that Pace buses from the south would continue to directly serve Midway Station. Route 67 67th/69th/71st would be re-routed to terminate at the new proposed Ford City terminal station. Two alignment options along Cicero Avenue to 76th Street will be evaluated; an alignment above the median of Cicero Avenue and an alignment located directly east of the Cicero Avenue rightof-way. The alignment over the median of Cicero Avenue would have fewer property acquisition costs and impacts to existing businesses; however, both alignment options will be studied further in the EIS. Possible Effects The purpose of this EIS process is to study, in a public setting, the effects of the proposed project and its alternatives on the quality of the human environment. Areas of investigation for transit projects generally include, but are not limited to: land use, development potential, land acquisition and displacements, historic resources, visual and aesthetic qualities, air quality, noise and vibration, energy use, PO 00000 Frm 00114 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 safety and security, and ecosystems, including threatened and endangered species; investigation may reveal that the proposed project will not affect or affect substantially many of those areas. Measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate any significant adverse impacts will be identified. FTA Procedures The regulations implementing NEPA, as well as provisions of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA–LU), call for public involvement in the EIS process. Section 6002 of SAFETEA–LU requires that FTA and CTA do the following: (1) Extend an invitation to other Federal and nonFederal agencies and Native American tribes that may have an interest in the proposed project to become ‘‘participating agencies;’’ (2) provide an opportunity for involvement by participating agencies and the public to help define the purpose and need for a proposed project, as well as the range of alternatives for consideration in the EIS; and (3) establish a plan for coordinating public and agency participation in, and comment on, the environmental review process. An invitation to become a participating or cooperating agency, with scoping materials appended, will be extended to other Federal and nonFederal agencies and Native American tribes that may have an interest in the proposed project. It is possible that FTA and CTA will not be able to identify all Federal and non-Federal agencies and Native American tribes that may have such an interest. Any Federal or nonFederal agency or Native American tribe interested in the proposed project that does not receive an invitation to become a participating agency should notify at the earliest opportunity the Project Manager identified above under ADDRESSES. A comprehensive public involvement program and a Coordination Plan for public and interagency involvement will be developed for the project and posted on CTA’s Web site http:// www.transitchicago.com/OrangeEIS. The public involvement program includes a full range of activities including maintaining the project Web page on the CTA Web site and outreach to local officials, community and civic groups, and the public. Specific activities or events for involvement will be detailed in the project’s public participation plan. The Paperwork Reduction Act seeks, in part, to minimize the cost to the taxpayer of the creation, collection, maintenance, use, dissemination, and disposition of information. Consistent E:\FR\FM\01SEN1.SGM 01SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 168 / Tuesday, September 1, 2009 / Notices with this goal and with principles of economy and efficiency in government, it is FTA policy to limit insofar as possible distribution of complete printed sets of environmental documents. Accordingly, unless a specific request for a complete printed set of environmental documents is received (preferably in advance of printing), FTA and its grantees will distribute only the executive summary of the environmental document together with a Compact Disc of the complete environmental document. A complete printed set of the environmental document is available for review at the grantee’s offices and elsewhere; an electronic copy of the complete environmental document is also available on the grantee’s Web page. CTA may seek New Starts funding for the proposed project under 49 United States Code 5309 and will, therefore, be subject to New Starts regulations (49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 611). The New Starts regulations also require the submission of certain project-justification information to support a request to initiate preliminary engineering. This information is normally developed in conjunction with the NEPA process. Pertinent New Starts evaluation criteria will be included in the EIS. The EIS will be prepared in accordance with NEPA and its implementing regulations issued by the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500–1508) and with the FTA/Federal Highway Administration regulations ‘‘Environmental Impact and Related Procedures’’ (23 CFR part 771). Issued on: August 24, 2009. Marisol R. Simon, Regional Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, Region V. [FR Doc. E9–20965 Filed 8–31–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–57–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Proposed Transit Improvements to the Yellow Line, Cook County, IL AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. SUMMARY: The FTA, as the Federal lead agency, and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) intend to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Yellow Line Extension Project in VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:18 Aug 31, 2009 Jkt 217001 Cook County, Illinois. CTA operates the rapid transit system in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. The proposed project, described more completely within, would extend the Yellow Line, a heavy rail transit line, to connect the Dempster Street Station to Old Orchard Road. The purpose of this Notice of Intent is to alert interested parties regarding the intent to prepare the EIS, to provide information on the nature of the proposed project and possible alternatives and to invite public participation in the EIS process. DATES: Written comments on the scope of the EIS, including the project’s purpose and need, the alternatives to be considered, the impacts to be evaluated, and the methodologies to be used in the evaluations should be sent to CTA on or before October 27, 2009. See ADDRESSES below for the address to which written public comments may be sent. A public scoping meeting to accept comments on the scope of the EIS will be held on the following date: • Wednesday, September 23, 2009; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; at the Oakton Community Center, 4701 Oakton Street, Skokie, IL 60076. The buildings used for the scoping meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Any individual who requires special assistance, such as a sign language interpreter, to participate in the scoping meeting should contact Mr. Darud Akbar, Government and Community Relations Officer, at 312– 681–2708 or dakbar@transitchicago.com, five days prior to the meeting. Scoping materials describing the project purpose and need and the alternatives proposed for analysis will be available at the meetings and on the CTA Web site http:// www.transitchicago.com/YellowEIS. Paper copies of the scoping materials may also be obtained from Mr. Darud Akbar, Government and Community Relations Officer, at 312–681–2708 or dakbar@transitchicago.com. An interagency scoping meeting will be held on Thursday, September 24 at 8 a.m. at CTA Headquarters, in Conference Room 2C, 567 W. Lake Street, Chicago, IL 60661. Representatives of Native American tribal governments and of all Federal, State, regional and local agencies that may have an interest in any aspect of the project will be invited to be participating or cooperating agencies, as appropriate. ADDRESSES: Comments will be accepted at the public scoping meetings or they may be sent to Mr. Jeffrey Busby, General Manager, Strategic Planning, PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45273 Chicago Transit Authority, P.O. Box 7602, Chicago, IL 60680–7602, or via e-mail at YellowExtension@transit chicago.com. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. David Werner, Community Planner, Federal Transit Administration, Region V, 200 West Adams Street, Suite 320, Chicago, IL 60606, phone 312–353– 3879, e-mail david.werner@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scoping The FTA and CTA invite all interested individuals and organizations, public agencies, and Native American Tribes to comment on the scope of the EIS, including the project’s purpose and need, the alternatives to be studied, the impacts to be evaluated, and the evaluation methods to be used. Comments should address (1) Alternatives that may better achieve the project’s need and purposes at less cost or with fewer adverse impacts, and (2) any significant environmental impacts relating to the alternatives. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) ‘‘scoping’’ (40 CFR 1501.7) has specific and fairly limited objectives, one of which is to identify the significant issues associated with alternatives that will be examined in detail in the document, while simultaneously limiting consideration and development of issues that are not truly significant. It is in the NEPA scoping process that potentially significant environmental impacts— those that give rise to the need to prepare an environmental impact statement—should be identified; impacts that are deemed not to be significant need not be developed extensively in the context of the impact statement, thereby keeping the statement focused on impacts of consequence. Transit projects may also generate environmental benefits; these should be highlighted as well—the impact statement process should draw attention to positive impacts, not just negative impacts. Once the scope of the environmental study, including significant environmental issues to be addressed, is settled, an annotated outline of the document will be prepared and shared with interested agencies and the public. The outline serves at least three worthy purposes, including (1) Documenting the results of the scoping process; (2) contributing to the transparency of the process; and (3) providing a clear roadmap for concise development of the environmental document. E:\FR\FM\01SEN1.SGM 01SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 168 (Tuesday, September 1, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45271-45273]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-20965]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration


Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Proposed 
Transit Improvements to the Orange Line, Cook County, IL

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Department of 
Transportation.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The FTA, as the Federal lead agency, and the Chicago Transit 
Authority (CTA) intend to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS) for the Orange Line Extension Project in Cook County, Illinois. 
CTA operates the rapid transit system in Chicago, Cook County, 
Illinois. The proposed project, described more completely within, would 
extend the Orange Line, a heavy rail transit line, to connect Midway 
Station at the Midway International Airport to the Ford City shopping 
center. The purpose of this Notice of Intent is to alert interested 
parties regarding the intent to prepare the EIS and to provide 
information on the nature of the proposed project and possible 
alternatives to invite public participation in the EIS process.

DATES: Written comments on the scope of the EIS, including the 
project's purpose and need, the alternatives to be considered, the 
impacts to be evaluated, and the methodologies to be used in the 
evaluations should be sent to CTA on or before October 27, 2009. See 
ADDRESSES below for the address to which written public comments may be 
sent. A public scoping meeting to accept comments on the scope of the 
EIS will be held on the following date:
     Monday, September 21, 2009; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; at the 
Hancock College Preparatory High School, 4034 W. 56th St., Chicago, IL 
60629.
    The buildings used for the scoping meetings are accessible to 
persons with disabilities. Any individual who requires special 
assistance, such as a sign language interpreter, to participate in the 
scoping meeting should contact Mr. Darud Akbar, Government and 
Community Relations Officer, at 312-681-2708 or 
dakbar@transitchicago.com, five days prior to the meeting.
    Scoping materials describing the project purpose and need and the 
alternatives proposed for analysis will be available at the meetings 
and on the CTA Web site http://www.transitchicago.com/OrangeEIS. Paper 
copies of the scoping materials may also be obtained from Mr. Darud 
Akbar, Government and Community Relations Officer, at 312-681-2708 or 
dakbar@transitchicago.com. An interagency scoping meeting will be held 
on Thursday, September 24 at 1:30 p.m. at CTA Headquarters, in 
Conference Room 2C, 567 W. Lake Street, Chicago, IL 60661. 
Representatives of Native American tribal governments and of all 
Federal, State, regional and local agencies that may have an interest 
in any aspect of the project will be invited to be participating or 
cooperating agencies, as appropriate.

ADDRESSES: Comments will be accepted at the public scoping meetings or 
they may be sent to Mr. Jeffrey Busby, General Manager, Strategic 
Planning, Chicago Transit Authority, P.O. Box 7602, Chicago, IL 60680-
7602, or via e-mail at OrangeExtension@transitchicago.com.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. David Werner, Community Planner, 
Federal Transit Administration, Region V, 200 West Adams Street, Suite 
320, Chicago, IL 60606, phone 312-353-3879, e-mail 
David.Werner@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Scoping

    The FTA and CTA invite all interested individuals and 
organizations, public agencies, and Native American Tribes to comment 
on the scope of the EIS, including the project's purpose and need, the 
alternatives to be studied, the impacts to be evaluated, and the 
evaluation methods to be used. Comments should address (1) alternatives 
that may better achieve the project's need and purposes at less cost or 
with fewer adverse impacts, and (2) any significant environmental 
impacts relating to the alternatives.
    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) ``scoping'' (40 CFR 
1501.7) has specific and fairly limited objectives, one of which is to 
identify the significant issues associated with alternatives that will 
be examined in detail in the document, while simultaneously limiting 
consideration and development of issues that are not truly significant. 
It is in the NEPA scoping process that potentially significant 
environmental impacts--those that give rise to the need to prepare an 
environmental impact statement--should be identified; impacts that are 
deemed not to be significant need not be developed extensively in the 
context of the impact statement, thereby keeping the statement focused 
on impacts of consequence. Transit projects may also generate 
environmental benefits; these should be highlighted as well--the impact 
statement process should draw attention to positive impacts, not just 
negative impacts.
    Once the scope of the environmental study, including significant 
environmental issues to be addressed, is settled, an annotated outline 
of the document will be prepared and shared with interested agencies 
and the public. The outline serves at least three worthy purposes, 
including (1) documenting the results of the scoping process; (2) 
contributing to the transparency of the process; and (3) providing a 
clear roadmap for concise development of the environmental document.

Purpose and Need for the Project

    The purpose of the Orange Line Extension project is to improve 
access to the existing Orange Line for southwest side and southwest 
suburban residents and businesses, support the area's ongoing economic 
development efforts, and strengthen the competiveness of transit in the 
reverse commute market.
    The need for the project is based on the following considerations: 
access to the Orange Line is currently constrained by limited parking 
availability; access to the Orange Line by bus or auto is unreliable 
due to congestion approaching the existing terminal station; and few 
uncongested roadways are available to access the current Orange Line 
terminal because of wider than usual arterial street spacing, which 
limits mobility for residents and businesses.

Project Location and Environmental Setting

    The proposed heavy rail transit (HRT) project area lies about 10 
miles southwest of the Chicago Central Area (commonly referred to as 
the ``Loop''). The limits of the project area are 59th Street on the 
north and 79th Street on the south. Midway International Airport is 
located in the northwestern portion of the project area.
    The project area includes parts of the community areas of Ashburn, 
Clearing, and West Lawn within the City of Chicago, and is adjacent to 
the Village of Bedford Park and the City of Burbank. The project area 
is highly developed, with significant residential (primarily single 
family), industrial, transportation

[[Page 45272]]

and commercial (retail and office) developments.
    The locally preferred alternative (LPA) for the proposed Orange 
Line Extension project was approved by the Chicago Transit Board for 
further study in the EIS on August 12, 2009. The proposed Orange Line 
Extension would extend the heavy rail transit line from Midway Station 
at the Midway International Airport south along the Belt Railway 
Company (BRC) right-of-way from 59th Street to Marquette Road, cross 
the BRC Clearing Yard and terminate on Cicero Avenue. The extension 
would include 2.3 new route miles of rapid transit to the existing 
Orange Line and one additional station at approximately 7600 S. Cicero 
Avenue, with new bus terminal and parking facilities.

Alternatives

    The Orange Line Extension Final Alternatives Analysis Report (2009) 
prepared by CTA identified three alternatives for further consideration 
in the EIS. The three alternatives include: a No Build Alternative, 
Transportation System Management (TSM) Alternative, and the Fixed 
Guideway Alternative.
    No-Build Alternative: The No Build Alternative is defined as the 
existing transportation system, plus any committed transportation 
improvements. Committed transportation improvements include projects 
that are already in the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) 
financially constrained Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The 
Orange Line project area has one road improvement project included in 
the FY 2007-2012 TIP; the Cicero Avenue Smart Corridor Project from 
37th Street to 63rd Street scheduled for completion in 2009.
    Bus transit service under the No Build Alternative would be focused 
on the preservation of existing services and projects. The transit 
network within the project area is projected to be substantially the 
same as it is now. All elements of the No Build Alternative are 
included in each of the other alternatives.
    Transportation System Management (TSM) Alternative: A TSM 
Alternative is proposed because it is required as part of the New 
Starts evaluative process; in this case, it does not meet the purposes 
of and need for the proposed project. The TSM Alternative is Bus Rapid 
Transit (BRT) that would operate west on 59th Street from the 59th 
Street Midway Station bus terminal to Cicero Avenue, and then south on 
Cicero Avenue from 59th Street to approximately 76th Street. Proposed 
BRT service would operate in mixed traffic with traffic signal priority 
on the Cicero Avenue segment.
    The TSM Alternative is 2.3 miles long and would not include any 
intermediate stops. There would be no exclusive lanes along the Cicero 
Avenue portion of the route. A new park and ride facility would be 
constructed at the proposed terminal stop at approximately 7600 S. 
Cicero. Bus route 67 67th/69th/71st would be re-routed to terminate at 
the new Ford City Station.
    Fixed Guideway Alternative/Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA): The 
proposed LPA would operate partly in a trench and partly at-grade along 
the BRC right-of-way between the existing Midway station and 
approximately 6400 south, where it would transition to an elevated 
structure above Marquette Road. The proposed route would travel under 
59th Street and 63rd Street allowing those cross streets to remain open 
to traffic. It then would veer to the southwest over the BRC Clearing 
Yard and then continue south on an elevated structure in the median of 
Cicero Avenue to a new Ford City terminal station located on Cicero 
Avenue at approximately 76th Street.
    The LPA is 2.3 miles long and would not include any intermediate 
stops. The conceptual alignment design for the elevated structure at 
Marquette Road would allow for a future station in that vicinity. The 
Ford City terminal station would include a park-and-ride facility and 
an improved bus terminal. The alternative assumes that Pace buses from 
the south would continue to directly serve Midway Station. Route 67 
67th/69th/71st would be re-routed to terminate at the new proposed Ford 
City terminal station.
    Two alignment options along Cicero Avenue to 76th Street will be 
evaluated; an alignment above the median of Cicero Avenue and an 
alignment located directly east of the Cicero Avenue right-of-way. The 
alignment over the median of Cicero Avenue would have fewer property 
acquisition costs and impacts to existing businesses; however, both 
alignment options will be studied further in the EIS.

Possible Effects

    The purpose of this EIS process is to study, in a public setting, 
the effects of the proposed project and its alternatives on the quality 
of the human environment. Areas of investigation for transit projects 
generally include, but are not limited to: land use, development 
potential, land acquisition and displacements, historic resources, 
visual and aesthetic qualities, air quality, noise and vibration, 
energy use, safety and security, and ecosystems, including threatened 
and endangered species; investigation may reveal that the proposed 
project will not affect or affect substantially many of those areas. 
Measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate any significant adverse 
impacts will be identified.

FTA Procedures

    The regulations implementing NEPA, as well as provisions of the 
Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A 
Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), call for public involvement in the EIS 
process. Section 6002 of SAFETEA-LU requires that FTA and CTA do the 
following: (1) Extend an invitation to other Federal and non-Federal 
agencies and Native American tribes that may have an interest in the 
proposed project to become ``participating agencies;'' (2) provide an 
opportunity for involvement by participating agencies and the public to 
help define the purpose and need for a proposed project, as well as the 
range of alternatives for consideration in the EIS; and (3) establish a 
plan for coordinating public and agency participation in, and comment 
on, the environmental review process. An invitation to become a 
participating or cooperating agency, with scoping materials appended, 
will be extended to other Federal and non-Federal agencies and Native 
American tribes that may have an interest in the proposed project. It 
is possible that FTA and CTA will not be able to identify all Federal 
and non-Federal agencies and Native American tribes that may have such 
an interest. Any Federal or non-Federal agency or Native American tribe 
interested in the proposed project that does not receive an invitation 
to become a participating agency should notify at the earliest 
opportunity the Project Manager identified above under ADDRESSES.
    A comprehensive public involvement program and a Coordination Plan 
for public and interagency involvement will be developed for the 
project and posted on CTA's Web site http://www.transitchicago.com/OrangeEIS. The public involvement program includes a full range of 
activities including maintaining the project Web page on the CTA Web 
site and outreach to local officials, community and civic groups, and 
the public. Specific activities or events for involvement will be 
detailed in the project's public participation plan.
    The Paperwork Reduction Act seeks, in part, to minimize the cost to 
the taxpayer of the creation, collection, maintenance, use, 
dissemination, and disposition of information. Consistent

[[Page 45273]]

with this goal and with principles of economy and efficiency in 
government, it is FTA policy to limit insofar as possible distribution 
of complete printed sets of environmental documents. Accordingly, 
unless a specific request for a complete printed set of environmental 
documents is received (preferably in advance of printing), FTA and its 
grantees will distribute only the executive summary of the 
environmental document together with a Compact Disc of the complete 
environmental document. A complete printed set of the environmental 
document is available for review at the grantee's offices and 
elsewhere; an electronic copy of the complete environmental document is 
also available on the grantee's Web page.
    CTA may seek New Starts funding for the proposed project under 49 
United States Code 5309 and will, therefore, be subject to New Starts 
regulations (49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 611). The New 
Starts regulations also require the submission of certain project-
justification information to support a request to initiate preliminary 
engineering. This information is normally developed in conjunction with 
the NEPA process. Pertinent New Starts evaluation criteria will be 
included in the EIS.
    The EIS will be prepared in accordance with NEPA and its 
implementing regulations issued by the Council on Environmental Quality 
(40 CFR parts 1500-1508) and with the FTA/Federal Highway 
Administration regulations ``Environmental Impact and Related 
Procedures'' (23 CFR part 771).

    Issued on: August 24, 2009.
Marisol R. Simon,
Regional Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, Region V.
[FR Doc. E9-20965 Filed 8-31-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-P