Posted on May 30, 2008 5:31 AM
Weekly Update, 5/30/08
Legislative update. As of Friday morning, indications are that legislators are hopeful a budget agreement will be reached by a midnight Saturday deadline. The Governor has said he will not link passage of the proposed capital program to passage of the budget. SB1115, which includes the Comprehensive Regional Planning Fund, has passed both chambers.
Bike to work week. Just a reminder that June 9-13 is Bike to Work Week. The Bicycle Commuter Challenge dares companies to earn the highest percentage of employees to use their bike for some or all of their commute during that week. Click here for information about how to register. On Wednesday, June 11 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., CMAP will staff a Chicagoland Bicycle Federation commuter station at the south end of Lincoln Park in front of the Green City Market. Stop by any of the Bicycle Commuter Stations and re-energize with complementary coffee and snacks. Pump up your tires or lube your chain at any of the Chicago stations. The week ends June 13 with the Bike to Work Rally in Daley Plaza (7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) with free breakfast, t-shirts and raffle prizes.
RTA public meeting. The Regional Transit Authority will hold a hearing at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 5, to review updates to the Moving Beyond Congestion strategic plan. The changes reflect requirements contained in the transit funding and reform legislation that was passed last January by the Illinois General Assembly. The location is RTA's offices, 175 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 1550. Click here for an RTA press release (opens 42KB PDF).
Campton Hills workshop. On May 27, CMAP assisted the Village of Campton Hills in identifying the planning challenges they face as a newly-incorporated village. Eighty residents turned out for a special evening "Community Conversation" in which CMAP facilitated table discussions and used keypad polling to help participants name and rank their planning priorities. "Enjoyed the meeting," wrote one participant, "it feels like we are part of the plans for the future of our village." The Campton Hills Plan Commission, which co-sponsored the event, will use these results in their comprehensive planning efforts. "Thanks for giving us a chance to share our concerns," wrote another participant, "we feel you really care!" CMAP plans to conduct a follow-up workshop with Campton Hills in the fall. A Northwest Herald reporter's account of the meeting is available here.
New at www.goto2040.org. "Innovation: The difference between good and great" is a new entry that I contributed to the GO TO 2040 blog. Our region and agency have an opportunity to look beyond the ways in which we have traditionally addressed quality-of-life issues. We need to bring different ideas and different people to the table as we look at the future of northeastern Illinois and the challenges that we face. Also, please read and comment on our new strategy report on brownfields, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines as "abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination." Our report describes the multiple layers of benefits -- economic, environment, and social -- that brownfield redevelopment can offer the region.
City of the Year. Congratulations are once again in order for the City of Chicago, which has been named 2008 U.S. City of the Year in the June issue Fast Company magazine. According to Fast Company, "The real Chicago isn't so easy to keep up with. It's constantly reinventing itself . . . But what any Chicagoan will also tell you is that the past is very much present. It doesn't go away. It shouldn't. In fact, that's Chicago's lure and its beauty: its ability to take what was and figure out what could be." Be sure to see the magazine's slide show of "Five Things You Don't Know About Chicago," one of which is that 29 percent of downtown Chicago residents have graduate degrees, which is 3.3 times the national average. According to Fast Company editor Bob Safian, "Chicago stood out in our reporting for its creative energy and business vitality, for its effective sustainability programs and for the forward-looking efforts of its business and civic leaders."