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June 28, 2013
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CMAP Weekly Update, 6-28-13

Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, Policy Updates on two local proposals for assistance through the federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program that have as advanced, as well a summary of CMAP-related highlights from the Illinois General Assembly's 2013 spring session; the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association winning an award for its housing investment tool; and news coverage of Local Technical Assistance program meetings . Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail.

First Off...

Call for projects closed. The joint call for local planning projects through the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Community Planning Program and CMAP Local Technical Assistance (LTA) Program is now closed. CMAP and RTA thank all who applied for planning assistance and grants. As noted in our schedule, projects should be announced in October.

Policy Updates. Two local proposals for assistance through the federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program have advanced: the Chicago Riverwalk project and a new Consolidated Rental Car Facility and Airport Transit System extension at O'Hare International Airport. We also summarized CMAP-related highlights from the Illinois General Assembly's 2013 spring session.

National Freight Advisory Committee, other U.S. DOT news. Congratulations to Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider on being named chairwoman of the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Freight Advisory Committee. And yesterday the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Mayor Anthony Foxx of Charlotte, NC, as the new Secretary of U.S. DOT. The Chicago Tribune's Jon Hilkevitch interviewed and profiled outgoing Secretary Ray LaHood.


Other News and Announcements

Illinois Open Technology Challenge winner. The South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association was one of four winners in the Illinois Open Technology Challenge for its housing investment tool, which enables users to analyze, score, and rank potential housing development projects in order to prioritize funding allocations. The methodology behind this visualization tool was developed through CMAP's LTA program.

LTA program. Among recent highlights:

  • The Norridge-Harwood Heights News described efforts to update the Village of Norridge's zoning ordinance to better reflect the Norridge comprehensive plan, which was unanimously adopted last fall.
  • The Village of Big Rock, in partnership with Kane County, is updating its comprehensive plan and will hold a visioning workshop on July 8 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Big Rock Fire Department (48W863 E. 2nd Street).
  • On July 9 from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. at the Franklin Park Community Center (9560 Franklin Avenue), the Village of Franklin Park will hold a business community meeting for development of its industrial area plan. The plan will address the area's challenges and opportunities, including anticipated development of the GO TO 2040-recommended Elgin-O'Hare Western Access project.
  • The Village of Morton Grove, in conjunction with the Morton Grove Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, will hold a meet and greet manufacturing event on July 11 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at 8300 Lehigh Avenue. CMAP will discuss major components from the draft Morton Grove industrial areas plan and seek feedback.

Building One America summit. Building One America will hold a National Summit July 18-19 in Washington D.C. on inclusive suburbs and sustainable regions with local elected officials, policy experts, and leadership from the White House and Congress. I will be speaking at the event to share best practices learned from our region's GO TO 2040 implementation activities. If interested in attending, you can get a discounted rate by entering the code "CMAP" at registration.

Divvy. Today the City of Chicago began its Divvy bike-sharing program. Users can choose multiple pricing levels, from 24-hour passes ($7 for unlimited 30-minute trips) and annual memberships ($75 per year, also with unlimited 30 minute trips). Trips longer than 30 minutes incur overtime fees. The effort is funded in part by the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program. Read more at WTTW, FOX 32, and Trib.

CMAQ in the news. The Chicago Sun-Times described a number of bike trails funded through the CMAQ program. Another project partially funded through CMAQ, "the 606" (formerly known as the Bloomingdale Trail), has also been in the news recently, including DNA Info, WTTW, and the Trib. The Trib also covered intersection turn lanes under construction on Lake Cook Road.

People on the Move. The Illinois Tollway has created a series of profiles describing how individuals and companies are benefiting from the Tollway's Move Illinois capital program.

New housing report. The Woodstock Institute released a new report on steps municipalities can take to improve and standardize their data collection on vacant buildings. Data currently collected at the municipal level varies greatly across the region, including significant gaps.

Innovation Network. The Illinois Innovation Council has launched a new website for its Illinois Innovation Network, coinciding with a new Illinois Innovation Index about our state's ability to attract and retain science, technology, engineering, and mathematics talent.

Stormwater needs. CMAP partners the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) and Openlands weighed in this week in the Tribune regarding our region's need for improved stormwater management. Josh Ellis of MPC contributed a video letter to the editor, and Jerry Adelman of Openlands authored a letter highlighting a recent report issued by his organization and Friends of the Chicago River.

BRT video. MPC has a new video describing Bus Rapid Transit opportunities being assessed by the City of Chicago. For municipalities and implementing agencies across the region, CMAP recently issued a strategic guide for expressway-based BRT.

Logistics journal. The International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management recently featured a paper co-authored by CMAP's Claire Bozic. It addresses the road network-design problem (NDP). One way to address traffic congestion is to add lanes to existing roads, add new roads, and/or improve intersections. The goal is to identify a set of projects, out of many candidate projects, that provide the most benefit for the lowest cost by minimizing the total travel cost subject to fiscal constraint. In the paper, the travel demand is assumed to be fixed and the objective is to reduce total travel time.




CMAP Blogs

Soles and Spokes. CMAP's bike-ped planning blog highlighted a recent data brief on the 2011-12 Illinois Health Survey for Youth, which explores levels of support among Chicago parents for government promotion of healthy environments. We also featured a Federal Highway Administration report on four engineering countermeasures designed to improve safety and mobility for pedestrians and bicyclists.


Congestion pricing revenues. Additional revenues from congestion pricing on the Elgin O'Hare Western Access could play an important role in filling the $300 million funding gap for that project, as described in our Policy Updates blog. Visit to learn more about congestion pricing. To support CMAP's efforts on this issue, please contact Erin Aleman (312-386-8816 or

Performance-based funding. GO TO 2040 recommends that transportation funding decisions be based on transparent evaluation criteria, and calls on the region's transportation stakeholders to develop and utilize the necessary performance measures. A new microsite describes how "performance-based funding" can improve transparency and decision making. Our Policy Updates blog provides an overview of the microsite, including its compendium of related CMAP research and analysis.

State bike plan. The Illinois Department of Transportation is seeking public input on its Illinois Bicycle Transportation Plan via a series of public meetings and webinar -- RSVP at

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.

Form-Based Codes Handbook. CMAP recently released Form-Based Codes: A Step-by-Step Guide for Communities, which offers an alternative to conventional zoning methods by emphasizing the physical character of development. Contact Stephen Ostrander ( or 312-386-8696).

FLIP applications. Applications are still available for next year's Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP) program. Students who will be sophomores, juniors, or seniors in the 2013-14 school year are eligible. The final deadline for applications is September 23. For more information, contact Ricardo Lopez ( or 312-386-8766).

ArcGIS workshops. CMAP periodically offers a Two-Day ArcGIS Basic 10.1 Workshop, and dates are set for October 2 to 3, November 6 to 7, and December 18 to 19. Attendance at each workshop is limited to five people, so register early. The cost is $350. To register, please contact Jan Drennan (

Activate Union Station. MPC's fifth annual placemaking contest is focused on "reactivating" Chicago's Union Station. Proposals will be accepted through July 24.










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