VIDEO: ABC-TV Newsviews with Randy Blankenhorn and Joe DiJohn (10-4-07)
ABC-TV Channel 7's Alan Krashesky interviewed CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn and UIC's Joe DiJohn about potential solutions to traffic congestion. Click here for the video.
AUDIO: WGN-AM interview with Randy Blankenhorn (9-19-07)
CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn was interviewed by Bob Sirott of WGN-AM radio regarding how to address congestion in metropolitan Chicago. Click here for an MP3 of the interview.
NEWS RELEASE: Highway congestion numbers show pressing need for improvements to entire regional transportation network (9-18-07)
CMAP planners and partners say northeastern Illinois has a growing "menu" of tools to improve mobility for residents, businesses and visitors across the rapidly growing region. Read about it in a CMAP news release. New highway congestion numbers from the Texas Transportation Institute show the pressing need for improvements to the entire regional transportation network. "We have to address the whole transportation system, not just the roads," said CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn. "Although the region clearly needs strategic capacity improvements, northeastern Illinois can't build its way out of congestion. We need to find innovative solutions that maximize the benefit of existing infrastructure, including rail, buses, and all other forms of local travel. Giving people more transportation options can help keep the economy strong and improve our quality of life."
FACT SHEET: Tools to address congestion (9-18-07)
This fact sheet accompanies the CMAP news release, "Highway congestion numbers show pressing need for improvements to entire regional transportation network." It describes in greater detail the menu of technology, infrastructure, financing, and planning enhancements being explored and/or implemented to improve access in metropolitan Chicago.
CMAP executive director on Comcast Newsmakers (8-20-07)
CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn appeared on Comcast Newsmakers from August 20 to 26, 2007. The interview addressed the importance of comprehensive planning to our region and communities. It ran at 24 and 54 minutes past every hour on the CNN Headline News channel for Comcast Cable subscribers across the region.
Letter to editors (8-13-07)
Gerald Bennett, chairman of the CMAP Board, sent a letter to newspapers across the region, again calling attention to the need for a new state capital program. The CMAP Board recently passed a resolution (92KB PDF) calling on Governor Blagojevich and the General Assembly to pass a capital program in which transit is sufficiently funded at the level identified in the RTA's Moving Beyond Congestion plan. The editorial letter ran in the Chicago Defender, the Daily Southtown, and the Chicago Tribune (100KB PDFs).
CMAP photo contest (8-13-07)
CMAP is asking residents of Cook, DuPage, Will, Kane, McHenry, Lake, and Kendall counties to use their cameras to capture what they value about the region. Submissions to the Images of Northeastern Illinois photo contest could be showcased in CMAP's plans and website. The contest will have five themes, with two winners for each theme and one overall winner. The themes are Diversity (people, places, culture), Community Vitality (transportation, livable communities, retail, neighborhood pride), Natural Environment (lakes, rivers, preserves, parks, sky, wildlife), Global Appeal (business centers, commerce, production, movement of goods, finance), and Architecture/Urban Design (plazas, buildings, neighborhoods, boulevards). Photos should be submitted by November 15, 2007. For details, click the link above or contact Amy Talbot at 312-386-8646).
Poplar Creek Watershed Plan (7-20-07)
Through a partnership with the Poplar Creek Watershed Coalition, CMAP has published a plan for the watershed, which is situated primarily in northwestern Cook County, Illinois, with a small portion in northeastern Kane County. Poplar Creek has two designated uses -- aquatic life and primary contact recreation -- and the IEPA considers both to be in nonsupport, meaning Poplar Creek is "impaired" due to various pollutants. See also the CMAP report Guidance for Developing Watershed Action Plans in Illinois (4MB PDF), which is useful to anyone interested in starting or participating in a locally-led watershed planning initiative.
FPA review process (7-1-07)
Effective July 1, 2007, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) assumed NIPC's former responsibility for the Facilities Planning Area (FPA) process, which includes reviewing requested changes to the State of Illinois Water Quality Management Plan required under the federal Clean Water Act.
Regional Map of Metropolitan Chicago (6-20-07)
CMAP has published the region's first base map in over 20 years. The agency developed this map as a resource for planners and local officials. If you work for a municipality, please contact your local council of government, which is helping to hand out the maps to their members. If demand is sufficient, CMAP may print additional copies that would be available to other groups for a fee. To express interest, send us an email.
Watershed Planning Guide (6-15-07)
The CMAP report Guidance for Developing Watershed Action Plans in Illinois (4MB PDF) is useful to anyone interested in starting a locally-led watershed planning initiative or in strengthening an existing plan. This summer, CMAP is offering two workshops about the guide for planning novices and experienced practitioners alike. The first was held Thursday, June 28, in the CMAP offices at Sears Tower. And the second was on Thursday, July 12, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at University of Illinois Extension, 2501 N. 8th Street, (Illinois State Fairgrounds), Springfield. Click here for more information.
Letter to the Governor (5-2-07)
Gerald Bennett, chairman of the CMAP Board, and the chairmen of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties jointly signed a letter to Governor Blagojevich calling for a new program of capital investment in Illinois roads, transit, and other badly needed infrastructure. In addition to Mayor Bennett, the letter's signers are John Church, Kendall County Board chairman; Kenneth D. Koehler, McHenry County Board chairman; Karen McConnaughay, Kane County Board chairman; Robert J. Schillerstrom, County Board chairman; Suzi Schmidt, Lake County Board chair; Todd Stroger, Cook County Board president; and Lawrence M. Walsh, Will County chief executive. The CMAP Board earlier articulated its position on the necessity of a new capital program for the State of Illinois. Click here to see a statement by the Transportation for Illinois Coalition regarding the letter to Governor Blagojevich.
NEWS RELEASE: CMAP executive director testifies to national commission (4-18-07)
In testimony on April 18 at the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission hearing in Chicago, CMAP Executive director Randy Blankenhorn called for the U.S. government to give regional planning agencies the authority and resources to address the needs of major metropolitan areas. Read about it in a CMAP news release. He pointed out the threat to the nation's economy posed by over-burdened roads and transit in the 12 largest metropolitan regions, which make up one-third of the U.S. gross domestic product. Read more in Randy's written testimony.
NEWS RELEASE: Regional growth indicates need for effective planning (4-4-07)
New data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the population of the metropolitan Chicago region grew 4.5 percent between 2000 and 2006. See the CMAP news release. Our region added an estimated 407,133 residents over that period, putting the total population at 9,505,748 people as of 2006.
NEWS RELEASE: CMAP Board member named to national board (3-28-07)
CMAP has announced that Montgomery mayor Marilyn Michelini will represent northeastern Illinois on the board of the National Association of Regional Councils, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. NARC is a leading advocate for regional organizations and solutions that positively impact American communities -- large and small, urban and rural. Mayor Michelini has been appointed as an at-large representative on the board of the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC).
NEWS RELEASE: Water supply planning members are named (3-23-07)
Members have been named for the Regional Water Supply Planning Group (RWSPG). CMAP has organized the new planning group to study water supplies in an 11-county region of northeastern Illinois, where potential water shortages are projected in coming years.
NEWS RELEASE: Mayor Bennett speaks at TFIC news conference (3-20-07)
CMAP Board chairman Gerald Bennett was a featured speaker at a news conference hosted by the Transportation for Illinois Coalition (TFIC) on Tuesday, March 20, 2007, at the Thompson Center in Chicago. The event called attention to the region's desperate need for funding of roads and transit infrastructure. CMAP strongly supports a new program of capital investment for the State of Illinois. Other speakers included Batavia mayor Jeff Schielke (chair of the Council of Mayors), DuPage County board chairman Robert Schillerstrom, and Lake County board chairman Suzi Schmidt.
NEWS RELEASE: Jobs-Housing-Transportation Summit (2-6-07)
At CMAP's summit on February 6 at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a capacity crowd of more than 250 attendees participated in a lively give-and-take with national and local experts on the relationships of jobs, housing, and transportation planning. See the CMAP news release. During his summit keynote address titled "Integrated Planning for a Global City," Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago president Michael Moskow said, "If Chicago is to continue to stand out as one of the nation's leading cities and continue to expand its global role, it must function efficiently in its internal circulation of ideas, goods and -- the hallmark of great cities -- people."
CMAP issues first Regional Snapshot report (2-6-07)
The summit (see above) also saw CMAP officially debut its Regional Snapshot, which summarizes some of the primary challenges facing northeastern Illinois. CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn gave a presentation summarizing the report, which includes data and analysis that describe where the region stands regarding population, the economy, land use, natural resources, transportation and housing.
Illinois Issues guest column (2-5-07)
CMAP contributed a guest column to the February 2007 edition of Illinois Issues magazine. In it, executive director Randy Blankenhorn asserts, "Good planning without implementation is better than no planning at all — but not much."
NEWS RELEASE: CMAP travel survey begins (1-18-07)
CMAP has launched Travel Tracker, a year-long survey of the region's residents to learn about travel habits and transportation needs. Because the last large-scale travel survey was conducted in the early 1990s, Travel Tracker results are eagerly anticipated by many of the region's planning and transportation agencies, as well as university researchers seeking solutions to pressing transportation problems. Click here for more information.
VIDEO: ABC-TV Newsviews with Randy Blankenhorn and Joe DiJohn (10-4-07)