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Weekly update, 1/23/09
Federal recovery package. What is now called the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan" is gradually coming into clearer focus. We are closely monitoring activities of the House Appropriations and House Transportation and Infrastructure committees, numerousstakeholders here and across the country, and media coverage. As we've stated consistently since December when the CMAP Board issued a set of principles and a subsequent statement on January 14, CMAP's top priority is toadd value by working with our partners to ensure that the region gets its appropriate share of the infrastructure funds that would come to Illinois. We are also committed to a process that prioritizes projects to not only create short-term jobs, but one that will also enhance the economic position of northeastern Illinois. It is critically important that there be a coordinated, regional effort. Starting next week, we will be sending a separate weekly email dealing only with the recovery package issues in a timely and detailed way. Stay tuned for much more in coming days and weeks.
Environmental coverage. The DuPage Environmental Summit in Lisle at which Jesse Elam spoke recently has received some media attention. Articles were published in the Daily Herald (Environmental leaders seek greener roads), Naperville Sun (Summit highlights DuPage environmental progress), and Suburban Life (Environmental, civic leaders push for greener transportation).
FLIP in the news. Grayslake Central High School student Paula Yoder's experiences with our Future Leaders in Planning program are described in this week's Waukegan Journal.
TIP comment period. On January 16, 2009, the CMAP Transportation Committee released the biannual TIP/RTP conformity analysis and TIP amendments for a 30 day public comment period. These TIP amendments are changes to projects that may affect air quality within the region. For ozone, emissions of the two precursors, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides were calculated. The results fell below applicable SIP emission budgets for the attainment year and subsequent years; they were very similar to emission estimates from the conformity analysis documentation for the 2030 RTP Update and FY07-12 TIP approved in October, 2006. For PM2.5 emissions were calculated for direct PM2.5 and the precursor nitrogen oxides. Emissions for all scenario years remained below the baseline year values. CMAP recommends that a determination that the region's transportation plan and program satisfy all applicable criteria and procedures in the conformity regulations and comply with all applicable implementation plan conformity regulations be made. A memo summarizing the requested changes to the TIP and a report with the specific change sare available. Public comment can be received viae-mail, mailed to CMAP,Sears Tower, 233 S. Wacker Blvd. Suite 800, Chicago, IL, 60606, or by phone to (312) 454-0400.
CMAP on Twitter. Follow CMAP and the GO TO 2040 blog on Twitter by subscribing to our feed at http://twitter.com/GOTO2040. If you'd also like to get the RSS feed for our GO TO 2040 blog, you can always subscribe to it using your favorite RSS reader (like Google reader or My Yahoo) and get our latest posts delivered directly to you. See http://www.goto2040.org/archive-blog/-/blogs/rss for the GO TO 2040 blog feed.
IAP2 Certificate Program.CMAP will host the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Certificate in Public Participation training February 2-6 in Chicago. The IAP2 Certificate Program provides a broad-based learning experience covering all of the foundations of civic engagement. Attendees will develop skills, techniques, and confidence to design and manage the most effective public involvement programs. For more information, contact CMAP's Gordon Smith (312)386-8739 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
OneRail Coalition. At last week's meeting of the CREATE Advocacy Committee, we heard about formation of the new OneRail Coalition, which was announced on January 15, 2009. The coalition will encourage public policies that recognize expansion of passenger and freight rail as critical elements of the national transportation system. Its members include the American Public Transportation Association, Amtrak, American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association, Association of American Railroads, Building America's Future, National Association of Railroad Passengers, Natural Resources Defense Council, Railway Supply Institute, States for Passenger Rail Coalition, and Surface Transportation Policy Partnership. The CREATE partners intend to actively engage the coalition to our region's benefit. See http://www.transact.org/onerail/ for details.
Transport Chicago. The annual Transport Chicago conference has announced their call for papers. Some topics in previous years have been Congestion Mitigation Strategies, Paratransit Coordination, Bus Rapid Transit, etc. Papers that are chosen for presentation have the option of being published on the Transport Chicago website. A paper abstract (250-work maximum) is requested by Monday March 16, 2009. I highly encourage CMAP staff members to submit their research for consideration at this conference. For more information please contact Holly Ostdick or Doug Ferguson.
SPECIAL REMINDER. Don't forget to join CMAP's GO TO 2040 Partners Program! Please complete our simple partnership form. We'll send you a Partnership Kit with materials and a DVD to help you and your organization get involved in the region's first truly comprehensive plan. See our growing list of partners who have made the commitment to planning for a better future.