Posted on June 27, 2008 3:03 AM
Weekly Update, 6/27/08
Burnham Centennial meeting. This week, I had the opportunity to speak at a special Burnham Centennial partners meeting, which featured remarks by key members of the Centennial committee. They very graciously gave me the opportunity to describe our regional GO TO 2040 campaign, and particularly the opportunities for individuals and organizations to get involved. As covered this week by Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin, the Centennial has announced plans for renowned architects Zaha Hadid and Ben van Berkel to design the temporary Burnham pavilions that will be in Millennium Park next year as part of the centennial celebration. Everyone associated with the Centennial is intent on not only reminding everyone of Daniel Burnham's and Edward Bennett's accomplishment, but also on extending their legacy into the future. As I've said before, it is more than a little humbling for CMAP to have such a central role in that effort, but we're extremely optimistic that our agency and partners are up to the task.
Regional water demand report. The new “Regional Water Demand Scenarios for Northeastern Illinois: 2005-2050, Project Completion Report” is now available for download. Conducted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale on behalf of the ongoing regional water supply planning process orchestrated by CMAP and funded by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the new study reveals important consequences for the region by the year 2050. The study generated three water demand scenarios by major user sectors and geographical subareas within the region. The scenarios represent water withdrawals under current demand conditions representing a current trends or “baseline” scenario (CT scenario) as well as under a less resource intensive (LRI) scenario and a more resource intensive (MRI) scenario, which were extended to the year 2050. While the the CT scenario assumes a continuation of recent trends for the variables modeled, the region’s public water supply needs could grow up to 57 percent by 2050 under the MRI scenario. The report is an important input to the 11-county water supply plan that CMAP's Regional Water Supply Planning Group is developing. Scheduled for completion in mid-2009, the plan will feature new recommendations that aim to reduce per capita demand and ensure adequate, reliable supplies of clean water at reasonable cost for all users.
GO TO 2040 strategy paper on car sharing. The GO TO 2040 team has posted another strategy paper, this one on the topic of car sharing. This is among numerous issues we're studying carefully as CMAP defines its strategies for implementing the recently approved Regional Vision (3.3MB PDF). Readers are strongly encouraged to comment on these strategy papers.
Gas prices and commuting patterns. Car sharing is one aspect of rampant media coverage about Americans' interest in alternative modes of travel, prompted by $4.00 per gallon gasoline. It's unfortunate that many policy makers, reporters, and even the general public tend to ignore the need for mass transit until circumstances like this arise. But if there's anything positive to come of the awful personal and economic toll of rising oil prices, it's that people are thinking hard about alternative modes of travel. The Elgin Courier News this week covered commuters biking to work in the collar counties. The Chicago Tribune recently ran a story citing a 4.5-percent increase in Metra ridership in April 2008, compared to April 2007. DuPage County board chairman Robert Schillerstrom responded with a letter calling for capital investments in transit. Joliet Herald News columnist Cindy Cain did a nice job of tying these various threads together in her June 22 column that includes a couple of quotes from me. As I said to her, "I think we all knew there had to be a shift. Is this the moment it happens? It very well may be. Maybe this is the moment people really start to change."
Full Circle open house. CMAP invites you to attend an Open House for the Full Circle Project at our offices in Sears Tower on Wednesday, July 9, 2008 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Full Circle is a community mapping and planning project that develops wireless web tools to help communities identify how land parcels are being used, and how they could be used more effectively through a coordinated local planning strategy. The event will feature
- A brownbag lunch presentation (bring your own lunch) by Dr. Richard Klosterman, President and CEO of What if?, Inc., an interactive GIS-based system for community analysis and land
- An opportunity to meet Mr. Craig Howard, Director of Community and Economic Development at the MacArthur Foundation.
- A presentation of CMAP’s technical assistance tools for community and economic development, including the new Full Circle’s Best Practice Guide to Community Mapping.
A presentation on Preservation Compact, a large-scale initiative to preserve affordable, multi-rental housing from condo-conversion in the greater Chicago area.
- Copies of the newly released report by the Lincoln Land Institute and PolicyLink, titled “Transforming Community Development with Land Information Systems,” which highlights the Full Circle project.
This event is free, but please reserve a spot by contacting Jamie Krell (email@example.com or 312-386-8658). For entry, Sears Tower requires a state-issued photo ID.
Indicators Workshops reminder. Please help spread the word about this summer's traveling series of GO TO 2040 Indicators Workshops that kick off on July 22 at Tinley Park. We're hosting these across the region to give local officials, planners, and other stakeholders the chance for input into our Regional Indicators Project, which is seeking to predict and measure economic, environmental, social, and cultural variables that affect quality of life in metropolitan Chicago.
ITE Midwestern District 2008 Conference in Chicago. The ITE Midwestern District Conference will be held Sunday through Tuesday, July 6 to 8, 2008, at the Hard Rock Hotel, 230 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Monday keynote speakers include John Murray, Chief of Bid Operations, Chicago 2016 and Rosemarie Andolino, Executive Director of the O'Hare Modernization Program. The Tuesday keynote speaker is Illinois Secretary of Transportation Milton Sees. The conference theme is "Make No Little Plans -- Transportation in the Heartland," with 24 presentations and technical tours on operating, building, designing, and planning our transportation infrastructure. Conference add-ons include a Tuesday afternoon session on the national proposed amendment to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices conducted by Fred Ranck of the FHWA (free for full or Tuesday registrants), and a Wednesday training session for Professional Traffic Operation Engineers (PTOEs) and Traffic Operations Practioner Specialists (TOPS) conducted by Professor Robert Seyfried of Northwestern University (extra fee).Registration informationcan be foundatthe conference website www.midwesternite2008.org. For more information, contact Mark Rinnanat 312-424-5419 or Mark.Rinnan@jacobs.com.
RTA grant programs reminder. As I mentioned last week, the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is soliciting creative project proposals that are consistent with its Moving Beyond Congestion strategic plan. The application deadline is August 8. Click here for information about this and other RTA grant programs.