About Long-Term Regional Transportation Planning
In order for the people of our region to enjoy broad-based prosperity, they must be mobile. Mobility allows people to efficiently exchange services, ideas, and goods within a large market. Mobility allows us to enjoy the benefits of living in metropolitan Chicago, such as markets, education, culture, recreation, and employment.
Providing long-term mobility for our region requires planning. We need to assure that our goods and services reach world-wide markets, while at the same time assuring that the elderly and and schoolchildren can reach the stores and schools that may lie across the street. Thus, transportation planning in metropolitan Chicago is multi-modal and is concerned with both small-scale and large-scale improvements.
Assuring mobility for our region will require substantial financial resources. Resources are needed to maintain the system we have as well as to improve it for future benefit. Some of the resources will be federal. However, we will also need substantial state and local resources to maintain and improve the system to accommodate the transportation needs of our growing region.
To receive the federal funds to improve transit and highway systems, our region must have a long-range transportation plan developed according to specific federal regulations. The approved 2030 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) was adopted by the MPO Policy Committee in 2003, and is being periodically updated. However, new research and analysis is focusing on the development of the 2040 Regional Comprehensive Plan, which will include not only a plan for our transportation system, but such issues as land use, water supply, and recreation. The 2040 Regional Comprehensive Plan is scheduled for adoption by the MPO Policy Committee and the Board of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning in October 2010. For more information about this plan, Go To 2040.
Until the adoption of the 2040 Regional Comprehensive Plan, the 2030 Regional Transportation Plan is the adopted transportation plan for the Chicago region.
The MPO Policy is designated by the Illinois governor and locally elected officials as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for northeastern Illinois, responsible for developing these plans. The Policy Committee has been developing transportation plans for the region since 1955. The Chicago Metropolitan Planning Area, for which the MPO Policy Committee is responsible, includes Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties, and Aux Sable Township in Grundy County. The MPO Policy Committee includes representatives of government agencies and transportation providers. The MPO Policy Committee is responsible for developing and approving the RTP.
The RTP is based on regional population, household, and job growth projections. The plan is also developed according to expected and anticipated funding, which requires making tough decisions. With the region's mature highway and transit infrastructure, a large part of the resources in the plan are directed toward maintenance of the existing system.
Below are some answers to some frequently asked questions. Additional information is provided in the links to the right.
WHAT IS THE REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN?
The Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) is the long-range guide for major transportation investments in northeastern Illinois' multi-modal ground transportation system. The RTP recommends major transportation projects, systems, policies and strategies designed to maintain our existing systems and serve the region's future travel needs.
WHERE IS THE AREA AFFECTED BY THE REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN?
The area included in the RTP consists of the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will, and part of Grundy County.
Transportation planning is a continuous process. The first 2030 RTP was completed in October, 2003. The plan must then be updated periodically. A new Regional Comprehensive Plan is scheduled for adoption in 2010.
The Transportation Committee of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is given the day-to-day responsibility for developing the RTP. The City of Chicago, the Regional Transportation Authority, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Council of Mayors (representing suburban municipal governments), county governments, Class I railroads, and private transportation providers are all represented on the Transportation Committee.
The Transportation Committee accomplishes some of its work through task forces and working groups, in which broad membership and participation is especially encouraged.
The RTP was developed with a series of technical analyses, policy development endeavors, and project selection tasks, all accomplished within a framework of continuous public involvement..
Having the RTP is a good idea. The plan prioritizes expenditures and provides a guide to the development and maintenance of the transportation system. The plan development process also serves as a tool for coordination and communication among various transportation implementers and among other governmental units.
In addition, the Regional Transportation Plan is required by federal regulations. If we do not have an approved Regional Transportation Plan, approval of federally funded transportation projects is threatened.
Several of the facilities now integral to our transportation system were first identified as part of earlier regional transportation planning efforts, dating back to the first long range plan completed in 1962.