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January 11, 2013
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CMAP Weekly Update, 1-11-13

Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, the American Planning Association honors planning efforts in the Chicago region with first-ever National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Agency, a recap of CMAP meetings, including the addition of three new board members, a new report on stormwater utilities, and new Policy Updates on in-fill residential development, changes to the federal New Starts program, and the Illinois General Assembly "lame-duck" session. Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail.


First Off...

APA national honor. On Wednesday, the American Planning Association (APA) announced that CMAP will receive the first-ever National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Agency. We feel that this award recognizes not just our agency's but the region's planning efforts, so our thanks to the many local government, business, and civic partners involved in implementing GO TO 2040. One of those partners, the Metropolitan Planning Council, noted the APA honor in a very kind blog post. For a list of other APA 2013 awardees, visit The APA will present the awards next April at its national conference in Chicago, which will feature a major exhibit describing GO TO 2040, among other CMAP participation.

CMAP meetings. The Board met on Wednesday and welcomed three new Board members. Cook County president Preckwinkle appointed Cook County commissioner and Elmwood Park mayor Peter Silvestri to represent suburban Cook County. Governor Quinn made two non-voting appointments to the Board: Sean O'Shea, deputy chief of staff to the Governor, and André Ashmore, deputy secretary at IDOT and mayor of Matteson. Other highlights of the meeting included Board approval of the agency's clean audit report, the Public Participation Plan, and a new process for the Nominating Committee. With regard to the new 98th General Assembly, the Board approved CMAP's State Legislative Framework and Agenda. In terms of transportation, an update was given on performance-based evaluation criteria and transportation funding, the annual Unified Work Program process, and the staff's concerns with the process to the potential GO TO 2040 Amendment to include the Circle Interchange. Finally, the Board continued their discussion on the proposed CMAP and RTA merger, however no new information was presented.

Prior to the Board meeting, the Regional Coordinating Committee met. Highlights of that meeting included presentations and updates on performance-based funding, new staff work on regional revenues for transportation capital infrastructure, and a forthcoming industry cluster drill-down report on manufacturing.

On Thursday, the MPO Policy Committee met and heard many of the same transportation presentations that were covered at the Board meeting. In addition, the Committee established a MAP-21 Implementation subcommittee and was briefed on the discussions underway regarding a change to the metropolitan planning area that covers the region's urbanized area. The Committee also agreed to table a resolution until further discussion occurs to approve a funding split and designees of Section 5310 formula funds for the mobility of seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Congestion pricing editorial. Crain's Chicago Business published a CMAP essay about the long-term economic benefits of congestion pricing. If implemented on five GO TO 2040 expressway projects, it could increase our gross regional product by an estimated $2 billion annually. Learn more at To support this effort, please contact CMAP principal planner Erin Aleman (312-386-8816 or

Stormwater utilities. A new CMAP publication describes how local governments can use stormwater utilities to address local flooding and drainage problems. We will soon mail it to all municipalities, counties, and legislators. For additional information, contact Jesse Elam ( or 312-386-8688).

Policy Updates. The Chicago region increased its proportion of infill residential development from 2000 to 2009. We also described recent changes to the federal New Starts program for transit, which could play a major role in funding GO TO 2040 priorities like the CTA Red Line South Extension. A new "livability report," video, brochure, and maps gallery available at highlight the quality-of-life benefits of this major capital project. The infill and New Starts entries were both reposted on the Sustainable Cities Collective blog. And just added to our policy blog is a summary of the Illinois General Assembly "lame duck" session that concluded this week.

Other News and Announcements

Google Plus. Connect with CMAP now on our new Google Plus page. You can also follow CMAP (@goto2040) and MetroPulse (@Metropulsechi) on Twitter and Facebook for updates and interactive chats. And subscribe to our YouTube channel.

LTA updates. The Chicago Reader covered the Green Healthy Neighborhoods land use plan under development for the neighborhoods of Englewood, Woodlawn, and Washington Park. The City of Chicago, LISC/Chicago, Teamwork Englewood, and Washington Park Consortium are partners on this project through our Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program. Other news about LTA projects included Patch coverage of the Village of Oswego's efforts to create an economic development plan. The Northwest Herald described the Village of Lakemoor's draft comprehensive plan. The Elburn Herald wrote about the Village of Elburn's efforts to update its comprehensive plan, funded by a $100,000 LTA grant. Waukegan is kicking off development of a commercial corridor plan along Washington Street with a series of public meetings between January 22 and 24 -- learn more at

Traffic safety grants. On January 15 from 10:00 a.m. to noon, the Illinois Department of Transportation Division of Traffic Safety will hold a workshop on grants available to promote highway traffic safety at 3501 S. Normal Avenue, Chicago. To RSVP, e-mail Les Nunes (

Energy efficiency workshop. On January 16 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., the U.S. Department of Energy, the State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network, and the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance will host a free workshop, "Working Together to Advance Energy Efficiency: Partnerships for Tackling Persistent Barriers and Achieving Results," at the Fairmont Hotel Chicago. Municipal leaders and sustainability staff are encouraged to attend and must pre-register by contacting Jessica Collingsworth (

Emerald Ash Borer management grants. Applications to the Municipal Grant Program for Mitigating Emerald Ash Borer Impacts on the Urban Forest are due February 1, 2013. Emerald Ash Borer is considered one of the greatest and costliest threats to the "urban canopy," depriving communities of trees that provide shade and valuable ecosystem services. Visit the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus website for more information, including upcoming grant workshops. This week the Chicago Tribune reported on the beetle's environmental and economic effects in our region.

Tree ordinances webinar. On January 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Morton Arboretum will hold a free webinar on tree ordinances. No registration is required.

Urban Innovation Symposium. On February 8, the University of Illinois at Chicago Urban Planning and Policy Student Association will hold its Third Annual Urban Innovation Symposium, featuring a keynote address by Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein. For more information and to RSVP, visit

Foreclosure assistance. Up to $70 million in funding from a national foreclosure settlement is available for counseling and relief services in Illinois. The State recently issued a request for qualifications and proposals. Responses are due by February 15, 2013.

CMAP Blogs

Soles and Spokes. CMAP's bike-ped planning blog featured an article about a Portland, Oregon study that used portable GPS units to better understand bicyclists' route and facility-type preferences. We also highlighted new metrics used by New York City's Department of Transportation to measure the overall success of urban streets.


CMAQ Program call for projects. CMAP is currently accepting applications for the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ). This year, project proposals are required to demonstrate that phase I engineering has been initiated. The deadline to submit all applications to CMAP is February 8, 2013. Visit our main CMAQ page for more details. Local sponsors should direct questions to their planning liaison, and all other sponsors should contact Doug Ferguson (

RTA strategic plan. The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is updating the region's Transit Strategic Plan, which will guide decision making over the next five years. Through January 25, you can provide input by taking a 10-minute survey.

EI2 rebates. Energy Impact Illinois (EI2) is offering rebates up to $1,750 (an estimated 70-percent cost savings) for upgrades you can make to improve the comfort of your home. For more information, contact Emily Plagman at To see if you qualify for the rebate, please call 1-855-9-IMPACT.

ArcView workshops. CMAP periodically offers a Two-Day Basic ArcView 10 Workshop, and dates are set for March 27 to 28, May 8 to 9, and June 5 to 6. Attendance at each workshop is limited to five people, so register early. The cost is $350. To register, please contact Jan Drennan (

Street design workshop. The Congress for the New Urbanism and CMAP, with funding support from The Chicago Community Trust, will hold a urban street design workshop on February 8 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Early registration ends Monday.



Single-Family Rental Housing: Managing the Next Step of the Foreclosure Crisis
January 30, 2013
10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago: 230 S. LaSalle Street, Chicago
Hosted by the Regional Home Ownership Preservation Initiative, the Illinois Home Ownership Preservation Initiative, and CMAP's Housing Committee
More information

Urban Street Design Training
February 8, 2013
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
CMAP: 233 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago
Hosted by the Congress for New Urbanism and CMAP
Early registration ends Monday

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