CMAP principles for federal infrastructure investments (12/17/08)
CMAP has issued a set of principles (opens 195KB PDF) for how funds should be spent on infrastructure in metropolitan regions through the anticipated $700 billion federal economic recovery package. The CMAP statement emphasizes transparency and accountability in the selection of projects for improvement of roads, transit, freight rail, water treatment, and other systems. "The federal recovery package is being crafted in response to a once-in-a-lifetime economic crisis," said CMAP Board chairman Gerald Bennett. "A national consensus has emerged that investing in infrastructure -- especially road and transit projects where construction can begin soon -- is vital for creating jobs, among many other economic benefits. CMAP agrees with the need for near-term results via federal funding to regions and their municipalities. But we are adamant that this should also be the starting point for significant reforms of how infrastructure investments are made at the federal, state, and regional levels. Now more than ever, the public deserves to know that its tax dollars are being spent wisely." Read more in a CMAP press release and an article in the Daily Herald.
Interactive TIP Map (10/20/08)
One of CMAP's key responsibilities is to develop and maintain the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which tracks federally funded transportation projects and regionally significant projects that do not use federal funds. There is now an interactive map of TIP projects. This mapping system will help the public understand what projects are underway and how their tax dollars are being spent. Please note that this is a "beta version," which means it is not quite final and we very much welcome your feedback. Send comments or questions to Patricia Berry (312-386-8742 or email@example.com) or Richard Krell (312-386-8640 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
CMAP calls for $150 million EJ&E escrow fund (10/1/08)
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is asking a federal review board to require the Canadian National (CN) railway to prepare a binding plan for mitigating the effects of its proposed acquisition of the Elgin, Joliet, and Eastern (EJ&E) railway. CMAP also recommends that CN be required to put $150 million in escrow for 10 years to help fund grade crossings and other improvements. The agency's position is stated in a letter sent to the Surface Transportation Board (STB), which recently issued a draft environmental impact statement (EIS). The EIS will be the basis for the STB's decision on whether to approve the CN's proposed acquisition of the EJ&E. Read more in a CMAP news release issued October 1, 2008.
Proceedings of CMAP Travel Demand Model Symposium (8/27/08)
The proceedings are now available from a one-day symposium CMAP hosted on August 27, 2008, with leading U.S. authorities in the development of "activity-based travel models" for regional planning. Panelists and respondents included university researchers, consultants and planning practitioners who will address a variety of questions regarding the potential for advanced travel modeling practice in Chicago. Following on the recent completion of our Travel Tracker Survey, this symposium was an important aspect of CMAP's ongoing model development work program. If you have questions regarding CMAP's model development work program, please contact Kermit Wies (email@example.com).
U.S. Census issues 2007 county population estimates (8/7/08)
CMAP staff have posted analysis of new 2007 county population data released on August 7, 2008 by the U.S. Census Bureau. Click here to visit the bureau's American Factfinder website. Our findings include:
- Since 2000, the regional growth rate is estimated at 4.5%.
- Kendall County total population grew by 77%, the fastest pace of all seven counties in the region from 2000 to 2007.
- Will County population accounted for 47% of all growth in the region (an increase of 171,000 persons) for the seven-year period.
- Cook County was the only county to decline (-1.7%) in total population since 2000.
For further information, please contact Jon Hallas (312-386-8764 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Water demand report: potential shortages to 2050 (7-9-08)
Depending on whether the region plans effectively, demand for water in 11 counties of northeastern Illinois could increase as much as 64 percent by mid-century, creating potentially serious shortages. So says a new report commissioned by CMAP and funded by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The report is a product of CMAP's work with its Regional Water Supply Planning Group (RWSPG), which is preparing a strategic plan for avoiding problems that have plagued other parts of the U.S. The research was conducted by the Southern Illinois University department of geography and environmental resources. Click here to download the document, or here for a CMAP news release. Coverage of the report appeared at Crain's, the Daily Herald, the Northwest Herald, and WBEZ.
CMAP featured on Comcast 'Political Update' (6/20/08)
CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn was interviewed on Comcast's "Political Update" public affairs show, with the segment airing during the week of June 20, 2008. He talked about CMAP's vision for metropolitan Chicago, and the agency's innovative GO TO 2040 planning campaign to implement that regional vision.
CMAP launches GO TO 2040 campaign (3-23-08)
Leaders of GO TO 2040, metropolitan Chicago's first truly comprehensive regional planning campaign, are encouraging the public to participate in making choices that will impact the future of our region. See a news release announcing the project. Led by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), the GO TO 2040 campaign will guide investment and development decisions across the seven-county region. The campaign is being launched in partnership with The Chicago Community Trust, which is providing financial and research support. CMAP and the Trust are developing a set of regional indicators that will predict the effects of policies and investments that the region should implement to achieve its vision for the future.
GO TO 2040 news coverage (3-31-08)
In the GO TO 2040 blog are links to some recent articles and broadcasts about CMAP's launch of the region's first truly comprehensive planning campaign. Among the highlights are WTTW's Chicago Tonight, WBEZ's Eight Forty-Eight show, a column and news story in the Chicago Tribune, and a cover story in the Daily Herald. To view all the news links, click here.
Regional Snapshot series continues (3/31/08)
CMAP is developing a series of Regional Snapshots to summarize important issues that will be part of the GO TO 2040 comprehensive plan. Issuedin March 2008, the latest snapshot report attempts to identify potential infill opportunities across the region. Redeveloping infill sites can offer substantial benefits. It can revitalize stressed communities, increase tax revenues, provide opportunities to create affordable housing, preserve natural resources in undeveloped areas, and effectively use existing infrastructure and services. Click here to download the Regional Snapshot on Infill (1.4 MB PDF) or here for more information on the snapshot series.
Regional Map of Metropolitan Chicago is honored (2/29/08)
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. As part of its Map Design Competition, the Cartography and Geographic Information Society has chosen CMAP's regional map for its honorable mention award. Our map -- produced in partnership with cartographer Lenny Walther of Northern Illinois University --was in competition with the best maps produced nationwide in 2007. The map is available to municipalities free of charge. A printable version of the map (3.5MB PDF) is available for download.
CMAP ED testifies on proposed EJ&E rail acquisition (1-31-08)
On January 31, 2008, Randy Blankenhorn testified at a Chicago hearing of the Illinois House Committee on Rail Safety regarding the proposed Canadian National (CN) Railway acquisition of the Elgin, Joliet, and Eastern (EJ&E) Railway. Click here to see his testimony (85KB PDF). CMAP's position is that much more detailed study is necessary as part of the federal Surface Transportation Board's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process. Our agency is committed to playing a strong role in that EIS process to help ensure that the potential impacts -- both positive and negative -- are weighed carefully so STB can make the best decision for our region.
CMAQ grants will improve air, mitigate congestion (1-10-08)
Seventy-one surface transportation projects across the region will receive new federal grants totaling over $54.3 million from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) under the Fiscal Year 2008 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program. The awards were approved by CMAP Board and the MPO Policy Committee. Created in 1991, CMAQ is a federally-funded effort to make surface transportation improvements that improve air quality and mitigate congestion. It supports transit improvements, commuter parking lots, traffic flow improvements, bicycle and pedestrian facility projects, bicycle parking projects, and other projects that result in emissions reductions that can be estimated and are otherwise eligible for CMAQ funds. Read more in the CMAP news release.
CMAP article on mixed-use development (1-9-08)
Many residents of metropolitan Chicago have gained a new appreciation for the old-time concept of a walkable town center with compact development and mixed uses. While those centers have often developed along Metra rail lines, the availability of mass transit is not an absolute requirement. Read more in an article about mixed use development (725KB PDF) by CMAP's Randy Blankenhorn and Tedd Carrison for Office and Commercial Real Estate Magazine's Winter 2008 issue.
CMAP announces photo contest winners (1-9-08)
On January 9, 2008, CMAP announced the winning entries in its regional "Images of Northeastern Illinois" photography contest. Read more details in a press release. In the fall of 2007, residents across the seven-county region were encouraged to submit photos that depict what they value about living in metropolitan Chicago. The selected photo submissions are on-line at http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/photo-2007.aspx and will now be showcased in CMAP publications, including the region's first truly comprehensive plan for land use and transportation, due for completion in 2010. The contest had five themes, each with a first-, second- and third-place winner. The themes are Diversity (people, places and culture), Community Vitality (transportation, livable communities, retail and neighborhood pride), Natural Environment (lakes, rivers, preserves, parks, sky and wildlife), Global Appeal (business centers, commerce, production, movement of goods and finance), and Architecture/Urban Design (plazas, buildings, neighborhoods and boulevards).