CMAP Media Tip Sheet
January 13, 2012
This tip sheet briefly summarizes newsworthy activities of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). Reporters should contact Justine Reisinger (312-386-8802 and email@example.com) or Tom Garritano (312-386-8609 and firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
U.S. EPA preliminary ruling jeopardizes region's air quality, transportation funding
Northeastern Illinois faces harm to its air quality and a significant loss of federal transportation funding if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency follows through on its intention to ignore current, certified 2011 data and rule that northeastern Illinois is "in attainment" with the agency's 2008 guidelines for air quality. If upheld, the preliminary ruling would result in the loss of approximately $90 million annually through the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program, which CMAP administers for the region. With a public comment period open through January 19, CMAP has urged concerned parties to contact U.S. EPA and members of Congress, calling on the federal regulators to consider the up-to-date 2011 data. The U.S. EPA comment period began with publication of a December 20 notice in the Federal Register (marked as "40 CFR Part 81"). Read more in a CMAP Policy Update.
Census survey data for 2006-2010 includes encouraging transportation indicators
The U.S. Census Bureau recently published the 2006-10 American Community Survey (ACS) five-year estimates, which indicate an increase in overall use of public transportation in the region, as well as an 89 percent increase in bicycle use. CMAP's Census webpage has detailed analysis and instructions on how to access the data, which provide a rolling sample of detailed population characteristics over the past several years. A CMAP Policy Update also describes how ACS data helps to chart successes and challenges related to GO TO 2040 implementation.
Public-private partnerships show potential for strategic funding of transportation
The CMAP policy blog has begun a four-part series on the topic of public-private partnerships (PPPs), which our region's GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan recommends should be investigated among other innovative financing mechanisms for transportation funding. The first entry showcases new CMAP research on the topic, analyzing PPP-funded transportation outcomes in Australia, where it has been used extensively. The second focuses on the role of PPPs in the ongoing federal transportation reauthorization process. In coming weeks, the third entry will discuss PPPs and transit, and the final post will provide a more focused look at PPPs for major capital projects.
CMAQ-funded continuous lakefront bikeway part of Millennium Reserve project
CMAP has allocated more than $10 million of federal CMAQ funds to create a continuous bikeway from the Chicago lakefront to Joliet as part of the Millennium Reserve initiative. On December 9, 2011, local, state, and federal officials announced the Millennium Reserve project's Calumet Core phase to restore 15,000 acres of open space on the south side of Chicago and south suburban Cook County.
Fairmont Neighborhood Plan set for formal review before Will County Board
CMAP has been working with Will County to develop the Fairmont Neighborhood Plan through the Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program. Draft plan scenarios are now available for public review and comment prior to beginning the formal review process before the Will County Board. CMAP and Will County will host a public open house on January 30 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Shiloh Baptist Church. Among numerous other LTA projects begun since March 2011, CMAP has also begun helping the Village of Lakemoor develop its comprehensive plan. The Village and CMAP will host a public kick-off meeting on January 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lakemoor Public Works building. These activities are sponsored by a three-year, $4.25 million grant to CMAP from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Communities program.
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is the official regional planning organization for the northeastern Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. CMAP developed and now guides the implementation of GO TO 2040, metropolitan Chicago's first comprehensive regional plan in more than 100 years. To address anticipated population growth of more than 2 million new residents, GO TO 2040 establishes coordinated strategies that help the region's 284 communities address transportation, housing, economic development, open space, the environment, and other quality-of-life issues. See www.cmap.illinois.gov for more information.