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January 25, 2013
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CMAP Weekly Update, 1-25-13

Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, an upcoming manufacturing drill-down forum,  news on the Elgin-O'Hare Western Access project, one of GO TO 2040's five new major capital projects, a Daily Herald editorial on the Homes for a Changing Region program, a new Policy Update on a new GAO report discussing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fees, and the launch of Streetsblog Chicago. Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail.


First Off...

Manufacturing drill-down forum. Did you know that annual manufacturing productivity in the Chicago region is $65 billion? And that, with over 580,000 jobs, our region has more manufacturing employees than all but one U.S. region? Or that our manufacturing cluster's wages are 27 percent higher than the overall regional average?

On February 26, CMAP will launch its Regional Manufacturing Cluster Drill-Down Report with an event at Harper College's Wojcik Conference Center (1200 W. Algonquin Road, Palatine) from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., with an optional tour of the College's manufacturing training facilities from 11:00 a.m. to noon. GO TO 2040 calls on CMAP and its partners to evaluate and help strengthen industries that drive our region's economy. The event will include a presentation of the new report and its recommendations to address the advanced manufacturing cluster's key challenges and opportunities, to be followed by a panel of experts discussing how to support the growth of metropolitan Chicago's manufacturing cluster. Registration is free and space may be limited, so reserve your spot now. Contact Annie Byrne with questions.

Elgin-O'Hare. Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation gave final approval for the Illinois Tollway to construct the Elgin O'Hare Western Access (EOWA) project, one of GO TO 2040's five new major capital projects. Read more at the Crain's Chicago Business, Chicago Tribune, and Daily Herald. As a related reminder, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Chicago will hold an event to explore innovative financing and development opportunities around the O'Hare Modernization Program and the EOWA project on February 8.


Congestion pricing. CMAP recommends implementation of congestion pricing on the EOWA and four other GO TO 2040 expressway projects to manage highway resources more effectively, as described at To support that effort, please contact CMAP principal planner Erin Aleman (312-386-8816 or

Homes editorial. The Daily Herald published a favorable editorial on the Homes for a Changing Region report for the Northwest Suburban Housing Collaborative (Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect, Palatine, and Rolling Meadows). The report was produced through CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program in partnership with the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (MMC).

Policy Updates. We described a Government Accountability Office report on vehicle miles traveled fees, a per-mile charge for a driver's use of our highways, and ways they can be structured to promote other policy goals, such as improved fuel economy. Our entry was reposted on the Sustainable Cities Collective blog. Evanston Now wrote about last week's Housing Policy Update, which found that, as of the third quarter of 2012, new residential development in the region is on the rise, while existing home values are still showing the recession's effects.


Other News and Announcements

LTA updates. The Northwest Herald wrote about the draft Lakemoor comprehensive plan, which was recommended for approval by the Village's Plan Commission this week and will go to the Lakemoor Village Board for adoption on February 28. The Lake County News-Sun wrote about efforts to create a Washington Street corridor plan in Waukegan. Both projects are supported by the CMAP LTA program.

CMAP media tip sheet. Our latest tip sheet includes information on the American Planning Association honoring CMAP with a national planning award, analysis of housing trends in metropolitan Chicago, news on LTA projects in Addison and Waukegan, and more.

Local food. The Chicago Egotist blogged about CMAP's efforts to strengthen the region's local food systems, as described in a video and supporting materials at

Transit access guide. The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) recently released the guide Making Way to support municipalities implementing small-scale capital access improvements, such as sidewalks and crosswalks, to increase access near existing transit facilities.

Chicago Streetsblog. Streetsblog, a nationally recognized sustainable transportation blog, launched a new Chicago site this week. It is the first time the blog has expanded in four years, which is thanks in part to funding support of The Chicago Community Trust and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others.

Water infrastructure funding. Through the Illinois Clean Water Initiative, a series of wastewater and drinking water loan programs are available to local governments.

CMAP Blogs

Green Signals. CMAP's transportation operations blog described a proposed format change to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

Soles and Spokes. CMAP's bike-ped planning blog featured a new report examining the increased number of bicycle trips to access certain Bay Area Rapid Transit rail stations. We also highlighted a recent study of existing bike sharing programs in the U.S., which covered the latest bike share systems and how they were implemented.


CMAQ Program call for projects. CMAP is currently accepting applications for the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ). 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 (

In related news, Midwest Energy News described a new City of Chicago program to be launched in Spring 2013 that will encourage conversion of trucks in private and public fleets from diesel to electric. CMAP allocated $15 million in CMAQ funds for this effort. The Chicago Tribune described recent progress on the Bloomingdale Trail, another project partially funded through the CMAQ Program.

GO TO 2040 comment period. CMAP seeks comment on a proposed amendment to GO TO 2040 that would add the Circle Interchange project and update the plan's description of the Prairie Parkway project. In addition, a conformity amendment to the FFY 2010-15 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) has been released for comment. See the CMAP website for a description of conformity. The comment period for both amendments ends February 18, 2013. Comments can be submitted via e-mail, phone (312-454-0400), and mail (CMAP, ATTN Plan and TIP amendments, 233 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 800, Chicago, IL, 60606).

Stormwater utilities. A new CMAP publication describes how local governments can use stormwater utilities to address local flooding and drainage problems. For additional information, contact Jesse Elam ( or 312-386-8688).

Full-cost water pricing. CMAP, in partnership with the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, developed the Full-Cost Water Pricing Guidebook for Sustainable Community Water Systems. For additional information and printed copies, contact Margaret Schneemann ( or 312-676-7456).

CDOT community briefings. The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is hosting a series of community briefings between January 29 and February 7 to share its draft Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Guidelines and Policies and seek public input. CMAP will host a briefing on January 31 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.(233 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago).

DUE NEXT FRIDAY: Emerald Ash Borer management grants. Applications to the Municipal Grant Program for Mitigating Emerald Ash Borer Impacts on the Urban Forest are due next Friday, February 1. Visit the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus website for more information.

Infill roundtable. MPC and ULI Chicago will host a roundtable on the recently created Cook County Land Bank Authority from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 7, 2013, at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (191 N. Wacker Dr., Suite 3700, Chicago). Registration is $15 for members and $30 for others.

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.



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
More information

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