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October 4, 2013

CMAP Weekly Update, 10-4-13

Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, a recap of CMAP Transportation Committee meeting, the postponement of the U.S. Department of Transportation certification review, a new Policy Update on federal legislation regarding the current Harbor Maintenance Tax,  an October update is now available for all LTA projects, and new entry in the GO TO 2040 Case Studies Library. Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail.

First Off...

CMAP meetings.  The Transportation Committee met today and by a count of 10 to 7 voted to recommend amending GO TO 2040 to include the proposed Illiana Corridor as a fiscally constrained major capital project.  The next Illiana vote will be at the CMAP Board meeting at 9:30 a.m. on October 9 (see meeting materials), followed by the MPO Policy Committee at 3:00 on October 17 (materials to be posted next week). In a separate vote, the Transportation Committee recommended that the Regional Coordinating Committee, CMAP Board, and MPO Policy Committee vote to approve the GO TO 2040/TIP Amendment and Conformity Analysis.

POSTPONED: U.S. DOT certification review.  Due to the federal government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Transportation's certification review of CMAP as the region's metropolitan planning organization is being postponed.

Transit task force. The Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force met again this week, and I provided CMAP testimony to its System Performance Working Group.

Policy Updates. New federal legislation that would abolish the current Harbor Maintenance Tax and replace it with a new Maritime Goods Movement User Fee was recently introduced.


Other News and Announcements

LTA updates. An October update for all Local Technical Assistance projects is now available at Among other highlights:

  • The Village of Lansing's Lan-Oak Park District is updating its park master plan in coordination with the Cook County Department of Public Health. Learn more at
  • On October 5 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., the Village of South Elgin will hold a "pop-up" meeting to discuss the development of its bicycle and pedestrian plan at the 2013 Harvest Hustle along the Fox River Trail.
  • To help implement its sustainability plan Growing Green, which was adopted in 2011, Park Forest is updating its development regulations to better align the Village's zoning and subdivision ordinances with the plan. A kick-off workshop will be held for the project on October 29 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Dining on the Green (349 Main Street, Park Forest).
  • Food Tank highlighted CMAP's video, Planning for a Sustainable Local Food System, as one of the top 26 food videos every activist should watch.
  • DuPage County is developing a Corridor Policies, Principles, and Framework Plan for Lake Street and Roosevelt Road. Learn more at the project web page.
  • Residents can provide feedback on the Chinatown Community Vision Plan via English and Chinese surveys through Monday, October 14 (extended from September 30). Now under development with the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community and 25th Ward Alderman Daniel Solis, this is the first community-developed plan for the neighborhood in over 100 years.

Case studies library. Building on recommendations from the 2012 Berwyn Comprehensive Plan, the City has begun updating its zoning ordinance to allow for high-quality, mixed-used development, with a focus on revitalizing the Depot District. Implementation activities for other completed LTA projects and local examples of plan implementation are featured in the GO TO 2040 case studies library. For more information, please contact Lindsay Bayley ( or 312-386-8826).

CMAP in the news. The American Planning Association's October issue of Planning magazine features an article "Getting Up to Speed With Economic Impact Tools for Transportation Planning," which quotes CMAP's Kermit Wies and discusses our work. APA members can read the article on-line. In related news, October is National Community Planning Month, and APA interviewed CMAP's Erin Aleman for "What is a City Planner?", an informational piece aimed at children.

Illinois Innovation Index. This quarter's Illinois Innovation Index highlights indicators and recent trends on the business climate in Illinois and metropolitan Chicago.

Bloomingdale Trail. Construction began this week on the Bloomingdale Trail, which will ultimately link multiple parks and other public recreation areas as a system to be known as "the 606." Read more in this press release. Among the funding sources is $51.9M from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program (CMAQ) administered by CMAP.

BRT newsletter. A Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) newsletter features information on upcoming open house meetings, a survey for those who use the Ashland bus, a new Ashland Avenue bus rapid transit land use tool for community and developer use designed by the Metropolitan Planning Council, and more.

GLAD at Shedd.  The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant program is coordinating a Great Lakes Awareness Day at the Shedd Aquarium tomorrow, October 5 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Contact Allison Neubauer with questions ( or 217-333-9448).

Sustainability forum.  The Delta Institute and University of Chicago Graham School's Leadership in Sustainabilty Management Certificate Program are holding a sustainability forum, "Best Practices in Office Sustainability," on October 10 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Gleacher Center (450 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive, Chicago).

Building conference. The Architect's Newspaper will host "Façades + PERFORMANCE" October 24-25 at the Illinois Institute of Technology (3300 S Federal St, Chicago). Register for the conference series at


CMAP Blogs

Soles and Spokes. CMAP's bike-ped planning blog highlighted an October 17 webinar on the final rule to amend the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards. The final rule, which was recently issued and will become mandatory on November 25, amends ABA Standards by adding scoping and technical requirements for various outdoor recreational facilities, including trails and access routes, that that are constructed or altered by or on behalf of federal agencies.



Congestion pricing. Learn more about the regional effort to implement congestion pricing, with express toll lanes that will help manage traffic and give drivers better choices for getting around.

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.

DUE Today: Complete Streets nominations. Nominations are due today for the Active Transportation Alliance's Complete Streets Awards.

Public meetings for IDOT Multi-Modal TIP. IDOT is holding public meetings across the state to solicit input for the development of its FY2015-20 Multi-Modal Transportation Improvement Program. More information, including meeting dates, is available on-line.