Posted on August 15, 2008 4:02 AM
Weekly Update, 8/15/08
Programming Coordinating Committee. The committee met this week and heard reports from the working committee representatives on their respective committee's comments and input on the proposed process for addressing Developments of Regional Importance (DRI). The committee decided to meet again in September after staff summarizes the working committees comments and proposes recommendations of changes to the draft document. Therefore, we are revising our timeline for stakeholder outreach until at least after the next meeting on September 10 at 7.30 a.m.
Web pages for FY09 budget, FOIA, Title VI. CMAP recently posted a web page describing our FY09 budget. We also posted policies regarding the Freedom of Information Act and Title VI, both of which are accessible from our main Contact form on every CMAP web page.
TIP mapping system. As many of you know, one of CMAP's key responsibilities is to develop and maintain the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which tracks federally funded transportation projects and regionally significant projects that do not use federal funds. There is now an interactive map of TIP projects. This mapping system will help the public understand what projects are underway and how their tax dollars are being spent. Please note that this is a "beta version," which means it is not quite final and we very much welcome your feedback. Please send comments or questions to Patricia Berry (312-386-8742 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or Richard Krell (312-386-8640 or email@example.com).
New Chicago 2016 video. At a media reception in Beijing, Chicago 2016 launched a promotional video called "Chicago Surprises." It touches a lot of bases, from the city's resurrection after the Great Fire, the 1893 World's Fair, and the birth of the skyscraper, all the way through Millennium Park. Above all, as it says, Chicagoans love sports. I think you'll agree it's very persuasive stuff. The 2016 Olympics host city will be announced in October 2009.
Tribune story on air quality. With the 2008 Olympics underway, we've heard a lot of comments -- mostly negative -- about the air quality in Beijing. On Monday, the Chicago Tribune had a front-page story about our region's air and its possible impact on the City of Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics. While the seven counties of metropolitan Chicago are considered to be have a status of "moderate non-attainment" related to national ambient air-quality standards. In lay terms, we have room for improvement. CMAP and its transportation partners are charged with implementing a transportation program to help reduce pollutant levels. You can click here to read about how air quality conformance is measured. CMAP's Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program helps to improve air quality by funding transportation projects that include bicycle/pedestrian improvements, improvements to intersections and traffic signal timing, new transit services and other projects. The Trib story points out, in particular, the need to reduce emissions from diesel engines, which are the major source of fine particulates ("soot") from transportation-related sources. The proposed FY09 CMAQ program (open for comment through August 26, 2008) includes $18.8 million in federal funds for projects to reduce emissions from diesel engines. This includes funds to retrofit approximately 355 school buses, 495 transit buses, and service vehicles for the City of Chicago, Cook County, and the State Department of Transportation. In addition, 13 locomotives used in switch yards will have their current engines replaced with low-emission, fuel-efficient Genset engines. Some of the engines being replaced are almost 60 years old. This represents the largest commitment of public funds in the Midwest, exceeding the current commitments in the rest of Illinois and the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota combined. For more about CMAQ, contact Ross Patronsky (312-386-8796 and firstname.lastname@example.org).
Strategy papers. Please encourage colleagues to comment on the GO TO 2040 Strategy Papers, which explore options for implementing the Regional Vision for 2040. The latest papers include Urban Design (How does design affect transportation patterns?), Inclusionary Zoning (How are some communities removing housing affordability barriers in moderate-to-high-income areas?), Agricultural Preservation (How do farms affect our economy?), Parks & Open Lands (What would happen if we preserved parks and open space throughout the region?), and Conservation Design (Can new developments be good for the environment and cost less?). See http://www.goto2040.org/strategy_papers.aspx for a full list of planned strategy papers.
Indicators Workshops. Related to the GO TO 2040 strategy research, a number of CMAP Indicators Workshops are in progress. They've been held across the region, with the final one from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. on August 21 in the CMAP offices, Suite 800 of Sears Tower, 233 S. Wacker Dr., Chicago. The workshops give stakeholders the chance to comment on the detailed indicators we are developing to measure progress toward achieving the Regional Vision for 2040. Also in partnership with the Chicago Community Trust, we are developing a web system that will give local officials, planners, developers, and residents access to all the latest data on factors that shape quality of life across the region.
Office and Commercial coverage. In its summer issue, the regional magazine Office and Commercial Real Estate features CMAP and the GO TO 2040 campaign.
Bicycle planning event. "Pedaling Ahead: Planning for Bicycle Transportation & Transit" will be held onSeptember 6, 2008 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. in the Cardinal Room, UIC Student Center East, 750 South Halsted Street. Attendees will hear about how municipal planning for transportation and transit can incorporate bicycling while addressing safety and access concerns of cyclists who use roads, paths, and other crossings for work and recreation. CMAP's John O'Neal will moderate the panel, which includes Craig Williams of T Y Lin, Steven Vance of the City of Chicago, and Rob Sadowsky of the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation.
APA save the date. CMAP is hosting the September program for the American Planning Association's Chicago Metro Section. With the topic of climate change initiatives in our region, the panel session will be held at noon on September 24, 2008. Contact Lori Heringa (312-386-8621 or email@example.com).