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January 3, 2014

CMAP Weekly Update, 1-3-14

First Off...

CMAP meetings. The CMAP Board will meet at 9:30 a.m. next Wednesday, January 8, 2014.  The Regional Coordinating Committee will meet prior to the Board at 8:00 a.m.   
Crain's on regional cooperation.  Greg Hinz noted a recent session that I moderated at the Federal Reserve -- featuring participation by all seven counties and the City of Chicago, among others -- on the benefits of a regional approach to economic development. 

CMAQ in the news.  Progressive Railroading covered the $34.26 million grant awarded to the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad company to convert 31 locomotives to natural gas operations by CMAP through its Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program.  Read more about recent CMAQ grants in this press release.  

Planning for BRT. I was interviewed for WBEZ coverage of Chicago's plans to implement bus rapid transit along Ashland Avenue. 

Other News and Announcements

EPA grants.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is currently accepting applications for its $2.77 million competitive Environmental Education Grant Program. Between 22 and 32 grants of $75,000 to $200,000 will be awarded nationwide. Proposals are due February 4, 2014. 

Charrette training. The Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association, in partnership with National Charrette Training Institute, will host "Tools and Techniques for Planning and Running a Successful Project Using a Charrette" on February 26-28. To register, mail this form and a check to:  National Charrette Institute, 1028 SE Water Ave, #245, Portland, OR 97216. Space is limited.

Kane County green infrastructure plan.  To begin implementing the County's recently adopted 2040 Green Infrastructure Plan, the Kane County Planning Division seeks partners in its application to U.S. EPA for support of technical assistance to help implement green infrastructure to protect water quality and build more sustainable communities.  See and for details.  Contact executive planner Karen Ann Miller ( or 630-232-3418). Applications are due January 24, 2014. 

Local Technical Assistance

Among recent highlights from CMAP's LTA program:

Cook County will hold a series of interactive public workshops for Planning for Progress, a strategic plan to guide funding requests, investments, and partnerships over the next five years for affordable housing and community and economic development. Two workshops are scheduled for each meeting date:  South Cook workshops on January 15 in Blue Island, West Cook workshops on January 29 in Berwyn, and North Cook workshops on February 4 in Arlington Heights. See the Events section and registration web page for more meeting information. The public can also provide input via on-line survey through January 31 (also available in Spanish).

A number of other LTA projects also are giving residents and stakeholders the chance to provide feedback via on-line surveys.  These include the first comprehensive plan for the Village of Rosemont since 1977 (expires January 15, 2014), a Kedzie corridor plan for Chicago's Garfield Park neighborhood (expires mid-January), a comprehensive plan for the Village of Lyons (extended through January 24), and a multimodal transportation plan for the University of Illinois at Chicago (expires January 31).

Several recent news articles highlighted LTA projects both old and new. The Chicago Tribune described the Homes for a Changing Region plan under development for Batavia, Geneva, North Aurora, and St. Charles with support from Kane County, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, and Metropolitan Planning Council. The Daily Herald described a river access and corridor study that will kick off later this year in Algonquin and Carpentersville.  The Kane County Chronicle previewed a project to rewrite the Campton Hills zoning and subdivision regulations for better alignment with the community's comprehensive plan.

The Trib also described suburban downtown parking policies, including the plan under development in Hinsdale. CMAP's toolkit Parking Strategies to Support Livable Communities can help local governments improve their downtowns through parking management strategies. 


Performance-based funding. Transparent evaluation criteria based on "performance-based funding" can improve transportation decision making, as described in a CMAP microsite and detailed analysis.

2014 ArcGIS workshops. CMAP periodically offers a Two-Day ArcGIS Basic 10.1 Workshop, and 2014 dates are March 19-20, April 30 to May 1, May 28-29, and June 18-19. The cost is $350. For more information and to register, please contact Jan Drennan (


Planning for Progress:  South Cook public workshops
January 15, 2014
Session Option 1:  5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Session Option 2:  7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
City of Blue Island East Annex Room:  13051 Greenwood Avenue, Blue Island

Hosted by Cook County and CMAP

Des Plaines Apache Park Neighborhood public meeting
January 15, 2014
6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church: 1177 Howard Avenue, Des Plaines
Hosted by the City of Des Plaines
More information

Planning for Progress:  West Cook public workshops
January 29, 2014
Session Option 1:  5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Session Option 2:  7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Berwyn Public Library Community Room:  2701 S. Harlem Avenue, Berwyn
Hosted by Cook County and CMAP

Planning for Progress:  North Cook public workshops
February 4, 2014
Session Option 1:  5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Session Option 2:  7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Village of Arlington Heights Board Room:  33 S. Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights
Hosted by Cook County and CMAP