Posted on March 20, 2009 3:25 AM
Weekly Update, 3/20/09
State of Illinois budget. Click here for the Governor's proposed budget, and here for his proposed capital budget. In Springfield this week for meetings with legislators and constituent groups, I got the sense that everyone understands the serious economic challenges that our state is facing. At the same time, our economy will only suffer further without the political will to pass a capital bill that invests in roads, transit, schools, water treatment, open space, and other infrastructure.
HUD & DOT Partnership. On Wednesday, the two federal departments announced a new interagency partnership to promote sustainable communities. We were encouraged to see this announcement that will among other things set a goal to have every major metropolitan area in the country conduct integrated housing, transportation, and land use planning and investment in the next four years. We are already well on our way of achieving that goal with the GO TO 2040 Plan.
Low emissions diesel. On Tuesday in a press conference at the LaSalle Street Station, CSX railroad announced the acquisition of four low-emission GenSet locomotives, paid for in part with $4.5 million of federal funds through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality projects that CMAP is responsible for programming. This is the first time our region's CMAQ funds have been used to retrofit a locomotive this way, and it's one of the first such projects in the U.S. It's a great example of how the private and public sectors can work together to improve quality of life here in northeastern Illinois. Click here for a photo.
New in the GO TO 2040 blog. Lindsay Banks writes about the newly launched Chicago Matters: Beyond Burnham series.
New FRA Administrator. On Thursday, President Obama announced his intent to nominate former Riverdale mayor Joe Szabo to be administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration. The formal nomination is expected to be sent to the Senate in the next few days. Congratulations to Joe and we wish him the best in his new position.
ITS workshop. The National Transit Institute, in collaboration with the Federal Transit Administration, will conduct a Transit Intelligent Transportations Systems (ITS) Regional Workshop on April 29-30, 2009 at the CMAP offices, Suite 800, Sears Tower, 233 South Wacker Drive, in Chicago. Hosted by FTA Region V and CMAP, the workshop is free to public transit agency and government employees. The fee for contractors and consultants is $300.00. The workshop will be facilitated by Carol Schweiger, vice president of TransSystems, who is involved in planning and implementing ITS applications in the transit industry. This is an introductory workshop geared to transit professionals including planners, engineers, and operations managers who may be involved in the planning, implementation, and ongoing management of transit ITS applications. After successfully completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
- Discuss the basic ITS applications for transit agencies
- Explain how to integrate transit applications into the Regional ITS Architecture
- Describe how system engineering should be applied to planning, designing, and implementing ITS projects
- Relate best practices for successful ITS procurements
- Identify strategic planning approaches for transit ITS projects
- Review successful transit ITS applications
Space in the workshop is limited. Click here to register on-line. For details, contact Susan Greenstone (732-932-1700 ext. 219 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
GO TO 2040 Community Conversations. Please click here for an updated list of Community Conversations that CMAP has scheduled for residents to discuss the GO TO 2040 campaign. Next week, we will host the following meetings:
- Casa Central Older Adults (by Invitation Only) on Tuesday, March 24. For more information, please contact Diana Torres or by phone at 312-386-8774.
- Korean Chamber of Commerce, First Korean Presbyterian Church (900 N. Milwaukee Ave. Glenview). For more information, please contact Ylda Capriccioso or by phone at 312-386-8670.
- Casa Central Youth Group (by invitation only) on Friday, March 27. For more information, please contact Diana Torres or by phone at 312-386-8774.
Public Comment Period Open. On March 5, CMAP and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency held public meetings on the three Kishwaukee River watershed plans CMAP and partner organizations developed this year. Interested parties are encouraged to submit written comments during the public comment period, which ends at midnight on April 4, 2009. All written comments will be added as addenda to the watershed plans. Comments should be sent to Timothy T. Loftus, Ph.D., Project Director, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, 233 South Wacker Drive, Suite 800 (Sears Tower), Chicago, IL 60606, or email@example.com. Additionally, Tim made a presentation on Monday, on behalf of coauthor Jesse Elam, at the Illinois Water Environment Association's 2009 Watershed Management Symposium in Springfield. The presentation was titled, Watershed Planning in Northeastern Illinois: The Case of the Kishwaukee River Basin.
CONVERGE:EXCHANGE: a Chicago Dialogue. Yesterday, Sef Okoth was one of the panelists in a symposium and discussion at DePaul University focusing on providing organizations with resources to expand community involvement and design in Chicago neighborhoods. The two day event titled "CONVERGE:EXCHANGE: a Chicago Dialogue" brought together architects, designers, planners and community development practitioners within Chicago and around the nation in a conversation about innovative strategies applied and experiences gained in community development, built environments, and beyond. The event was jointly held at the Chicago Architecture Foundation and DePaul University downtown campus.