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CMAP Weekly Update, 9-27-13

Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, CMAP released its staff recommendation regarding the proposed Illiana Corridor – a new tolled expressway project – as a fiscally constrained major capital project in GO TO 2040, the MPO Policy Committee meeting is rescheduled from October 9 to October 17, and the final installment in a Policy Update series on the tax system, which has examined measures of transparency, equity, and efficiency. Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail.

First Off...

Illiana recommendation. On April 10, 2013, CMAP received a formal request from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to consider including the proposed Illiana Corridor -- a new tolled expressway project -- as a fiscally constrained major capital project in the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan and also to accelerate its construction. Staff analysis of the proposed amendment was released for a 32-day public comment period that closed on September 3, 2013. Last night we posted the staff recommendation regarding this proposal. The Transportation Committee, which will meet on October 4, will forward its recommendation to the Regional Coordinating Committee, CMAP Board, and MPO Policy Committee.

MPO Policy Committee meeting rescheduled. IDOT Secretary Schneider, as Chair of the MPO Policy Committee and according to the Committee's by-laws, has changed the date of the next Policy Committee meeting from October 9 to October 17 at 3:00 p.m. This will not be a joint meeting with the CMAP Board, and the Board will meet at its regularly scheduled time on October 9 at 9:30 a.m.

U.S. DOT certification review. Federal regulations require that metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) be certified by the U.S. Department of Transportation every four years. CMAP's review will occur the week of October 7. The purpose is not only to ensure that federal requirements for transportation are being met, but also to highlight good planning practices and share information among participating organizations. CMAP prepared responses for its advanced review questionnaire. Individuals are invited to provide input on the planning process at a public meeting on October 7 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the University of Illinois at Chicago's College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (412 South Peoria Street, Room 110, Chicago).

Policy Updates. The third and final post in a series of Policy Updates on the tax system examines transparency. Previous posts looked at efficiency and equity. Moving forward, CMAP will incorporate these measures of the tax system in its upcoming update of the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan.

Other News and Announcements

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

  • The IL 53/120 land use plan page features a video and presentation from the Tollway's IL 53/120 Blue Ribbon Advisory Council meeting last week.
  • This Old House recognized Bronzeville as one of 2013's best old house neighborhoods. Read more in the Huffington Post and Trib. CMAP has engaged in multiple planning efforts in the neighborhood recently. The Bronzeville Community Development Partnership and other local groups have led recent efforts to establish Bronzeville as a National Heritage Area through the National Park Service, which would help preserve the area's unique landscape and assets. CMAP also helped develop a retail land use plan for the community, which was completed last month.

CMAQ in the news. The Northwest Herald described a continuous left-turn lane under construction in Johnsburg. The project is partially funded through CMAP's Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program.

Future of metro regions event. The University of Illinois at Chicago will host a panel discussion on the future of metropolitan regions, "Washington, In or Out?", on October 17 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Illinois Room of the Student Center East (750 S. Halsted, Chicago). RSVP to Stacy Jeffries (

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. The state's draft Bicycle Transportation Plan will also be discussed at these meetings. More information, including meeting dates, is available on-line.

Better Buildings conference. The Illinois Better Buildings: Better Business Conference will be held December 10-11 at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel and Conference Center (Rosemont). Early registration ends today.

CMAP Blogs

Soles and Spokes. CMAP's bike-ped planning blog highlighted a new Advocacy Advance report by the League of American Bicyclists, which provides advice on how advocacy groups can most effectively work with MPOs to access federal funds for bike-ped projects and programs.


ArcGIS workshop opening. CMAP periodically offers a Two-Day ArcGIS Basic 10.1 Workshop. One seat is available for the October 2-3 workshop. The cost is $350. To register, please contact Jan Drennan (

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.

Muni-Blast. CMAP launched a new quarterly newsletter for metropolitan Chicago's 284 municipalities last week. The first "e-blast" briefly highlights local planning resources that can help communities implement livability recommendations from the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan. To be added to that distribution, contact Justine Reisinger ( or 312-386-8802).

DUE FRIDAY: Complete Streets nominations. The Active Transportation Alliance is seeking nominations until Friday, October 4 for the best examples of fully implemented Complete Streets from around the region. Complete Streets are roads optimized for all modes of transportation -- walking, biking, transit, and driving. Select projects will be recognized at the organization's awards event.

Moving Forward Together. Mercy Housing will host its annual event, Moving Forward Together, on October 9 at Northwestern's Law School (Thorne Auditorium, 375 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago). Purchase tickets on-line.