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July 19, 2013

CMAP Weekly Update, 7-19-13

Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, funding now available for non-motorized transportation projects such as bicycle and pedestrian facilities through new federal Transportation Alternatives Program, Policy Update blogs on tax policy indicators and nation's first road usage fee in Oregon, and more. Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail.

First Off...

FY 2013-14 TAP call for projects. CMAP is accepting competitive proposals for funding from the new federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), which supports non-motorized transportation such as bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Local or regional government entities responsible for transportation or recreational trails are eligible, and private non-profit or for-profit entities generally are not. CMAP plans to fund bicycle and pedestrian TAP projects totaling $17.5 million. Only a small number of projects will be funded, with no upper or lower limits on the cost of individual projects, which must be located entirely within CMAP's service area. Applicants must provide at least 20 percent of total project cost from non-federal sources, and these matching funds must already be committed when the proposal is submitted to CMAP. For more information, contact Jesse Elam ( or 312-386-8688). Applications are due August 20, 2013.
National Foreclosure Settlement Award.  On Wednesday, the Illinois Attorney General awarded $70 million in grants to support community revitalization and housing counseling through the National Foreclosure Settlement. CMAP was awarded $448,448 to create a toolkit and provide training that will allow communities to produce their own Homes for a Changing Region plans. Some of the funding will go to the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) and Metropolitan Mayors Caucus to support their work on the project. Read more in the Chicago Tribune.
Policy Updates. A series of Policy Updates will examine tax system indicators. The first post looks at tax system efficiency, focusing on sales, income, and property taxes in metropolitan Chicago and Illinois compared to neighboring states. Future posts will examine indicators that track the equity and transparency of the tax system. We also described the Oregon State Legislature's establishment of the nation's first road usage fee, which could be a significant milestone in moving the nation toward more sustainable forms of transportation funding. 

Other News and Announcements

EI2 rebates expiring soon. For a limited time only, Energy Impact Illinois (EI2) is offering rebates up to $1,750 (an estimated 70-percent cost savings) for upgrades you can make to improve the comfort of your home. To see if you qualify for the rebate, please call 1-855-9-IMPACT today.

LTA program. Among recent highlights from CMAP's Local Technical Assistance program:

CMAP media tip sheet. CMAP's latest tip sheet includes information on an ongoing Policy Updates series on tax policy indicators, CMAP's Climate Adaptation Guidebook for Municipalities in the Chicago Region (which was also featured in a newsletter from the National Association of Regional Councils), efforts to support sustainable local food systems in Lake County, and the recent call for projects through CMAP's LTA program and the Regional Transportation Authority's Community Planning Program.

Bike commuter challenge. For the sixth year in a row, CMAP won the Bike Commuter Challenge for public agencies with 100 to 499 employees.  Our staff had a 55.9-percent participation rate.

Applications due next week: Activate Union Station. Applications are due Wednesday, July 24 for MPC's "Activate Union State" placemaking contest, with two prizes of $5,000 each for the best ideas. Winners will be selected to design, build, and program their visions, to be implemented at the station from August 24 to September 2.
CMAP on freight.  This Wednesday, CMAP's Don Kopec spoke before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure at a roundtable on freight planning, as previewed by the National Association of Regional Councils Transportation Thursdays newsletter last week.

BRT newsletter. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) released a newsletter on bus rapid transit this month, featuring entries from its station design competition, a video, and steps organizations can take to support BRT.
DCEO boiler program webinar. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity offers a Public Sector Natural Gas Boiler Tune-Up Program and will hold an informational webinar on July 25 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Truck Access Route Program call for projects.  The Illinois Department of Transportation is soliciting projects for its Truck Access Route Program.  Applications and location maps must be submitted to the IDOT District Local Road office by September 20; project information will then be forwarded to the Central Bureau of Local Roads by October 11, 2013. 

CMAP Blogs

Soles and Spokes. CMAP's bike-ped planning blog highlighted the recent update of the Federal Highway Administration's on-line pedestrian safety education tool designed for school-aged children, "Safer Journey." We also announced the Chicago Department of Transportation's piloting of an "all-way" pedestrian crossing, at which a traffic signal phase stops all vehicular traffic and pedestrians can cross in any direction, including diagonally. 


Congestion pricing. Visit our congestion pricing microsite,, to learn more about the many places that congestion pricing is already underway across the country, as well as the benefits of implementing express toll lanes in our own region. To support our congestion pricing effort, please contact CMAP principal planner Erin Aleman (312-386-8816 or

Performance-based funding. GO TO 2040 recommends that transportation funding decisions be based on transparent evaluation criteria, and calls on the region's transportation stakeholders to develop and utilize the necessary performance measures. A new microsite describes how "performance-based funding" can improve transparency and decision making and includes a compendium of related CMAP research and analysis.

State bike plan. The Illinois Department of Transportation is seeking public input on its Illinois Bicycle Transportation Plan via a series of public meetings and webinar -- RSVP at A new interactive survey is also now available on-line.

FLIP applications. Applications are still available for next year's Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP) program. Students who will be sophomores, juniors, or seniors in the 2013-14 school year are eligible. The final deadline for applications is September 23. For more information, contact Ricardo Lopez ( or 312-386-8766).

Stormwater utilities guide. A recent CMAP publication describes how local governments can use stormwater utilities to address local flooding and drainage problems. For additional information on the publication, contact Jesse Elam ( or 312-386-8688).

Transportation Enhancement Program. The Illinois Department of Transportation is seeking proposals for the 2013 Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP). A guidelines manual is available for reference. Proposals are due August 20, 2013. 



Chicago Heights planning meeting
July 24, 2013
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Chicago Heights City Hall:  1601 Chicago Road, Chicago Heights

Hosted by the City of Chicago Heights and CMAP
More information

Working with Indoor and Outdoor Water uses workshop
July 31, 2013
8:30 a.m. to noon
DuPage Water Commission headquarters: 600 E. Butterfield Road, Elmhurst
Hosted by the DuPage Water Commission, Metropolitan Planning Council, MWH Global, and CMAP