CMAP meetings. The Board and the coordinating committees will not meet in August. The next meeting is scheduled for September 9, 2009.
HTF and rescissions. Congress voted this week to deposit $7 billion into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) from the federal government's General Fund to ensure federal funding for transportation through the end of September, which marks the end of the federal fiscal year. This is a stopgap measure since SAFETEA-LU will expire at that time as well. In the Senate, an amendment was introduced and ultimately failed to repeal the $8.708 billion rescission of highway program contract authority stipulated at the end of SAFETEA-LU, effective on September 30, 2009. If this rescission is not cut, FHWA will close down the highway program for FY 2009 on Friday, September 25, to develop rescission numbers by September 30. The estimated rescission amount for Illinois is $289,873,076. Senator Boxer has committed to address the issue prior to this deadline. Essentially, what this all means is that either a new federal transportation bill needs to be authorized or a temporary extension authorized that includes funding for the HTF prior to September 30, and also the rescission outlined in SAFTEA-LU needs to be remedied. We are working with our national organizations and our Congressional delegation to address these issues.
DRI process. After many months of collaboration with partners and stakeholders, CMAP is ready to begin a two-year trial of the agency's process for evaluating Developments of Regional Importance (DRIs). The trial period starts on August 1, 2009, and ends on July 31, 2011, at which time the CMAP Board will review the process and its effectiveness. CMAP's DRI process provides an opportunity for regional partners to comprehensively assess the regional implications of large-scale development proposals, reconcile regional priorities associated with these proposals, and coordinate independent actions in support of regional goals. Examining these impacts from the regional perspective offers an opportunity to align projects and create consistency with regional plans and programs.
Magazine interview. I was interviewed recently by Mark Thomton of REjournals, which publishes several commercial real estate magazines in the midwest.
High-speed rail column. The Tribune's John McCarron had an interesting column about the new momentum behind high-speed rail. Also this week, several midwest governors (including Governor Quinn) and Mayor Dale signed a Memorandum of Understanding. about HSR.
Chicago 1948. On YouTube, Lindsay Banks of CMAP found this old film promoting tourism. It's fascinating to see how much the city has changed, and how much it hasn't.
Quotable residents. You may have noticed an update to our GO TO 2040 homepage, featuring quotes from residents who have submitted a scenario with our MetroQuest software. Make sure you take a few minutes to Invent 2040, and then "Submit Your Scenario" (along with your comments) to CMAP. We want to hear from you this summer! Next week, we'll release some preliminary figures about the feedback we've received so far.
Share your own Invent the Future scenarios. Did you know you can also share your ideal scenario via Facebook, other social networking sites, and email? Select the Invent 2040 section of our interactive MetroQuest software at www.goto2040.org, and just click "Share Your Scenario" at the top of the screen. For example, here are the scenarios created by attendees of our recent workshops in Sugar Grove, Riverside, and Crystal Lake.
Invent the Future workshops. Our workshops keep rolling on. Next week we're in Bronzeville (Chicago) on Tuesday, August 4, 2009; Harvard on Wednesday, August 5; and Schaumburg on Thursday, August 6. This week, we heard from residents of Rogers Park (Chicago) on July 28, Active Transporation Alliance (Chicago) on July 29, Argonne National Laboratory's TRAC Center (West Chicago) on July 29, Bartlett on July 30, and Tinley Park on July 30. See the workshop schedule for other dates, and remind everyone that the workshops end in August, so time is getting short. Registration is requested but not required. You can register online, via email, or by calling Joey-Lin Silberhorn at 312-386-8814.
On the Road activities. CMAP staff members are blanketing the region this summer at festivals and other large outdoor events, where residents get to have their say with Invent the Future games and giveaways. We recently visited the Kane County Fair, the DuPage County Fair, and the Streamwood Summer Celebration. This week, we're at the Lake County Fair in Grayslake, the Kendall County Fair in Yorkville, the North Chicago Community Days, and the Joliet Jackhammers game tomorrow (August 1). Coming up, we'll be at the McHenry County Fair in Woodstock (August 5-9, 2009), the Will County Fair in Peotone (August 26-30), and the Fiesta De Luces in Aurora (September 19). Click here for details.
CMAQ comment period. CMAP has released the proposed FY 2010 - FY 2011 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program for a 30-day public review and comment period. The CMAQ program funds transportation projects that improve air quality including bicycle/pedestrian improvements, improvements to intersections and traffic signal timing, new transit services and other projects. The FY 2010 - FY 2011 proposed program funds $90 million in projects for the region, including $27 million in funds to reduce diesel emissions from municipal fleets, buses and locomotives. Since the program's inception, the region has programmed over a billion dollars in air quality improvements. Click here for a summary of the proposed CMAQ Program or call 312-386-8796 for a printed copy. Through 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 29, 2008, written comments may be mailed to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), Attn: CMAQ Comments, 233 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606. You may also email comments to email@example.com or fax them to 312-386-8797.
TIP comment period. The CMAP Transportation Committee is now accepting public comments until August 29, 2009 on a conformity amendment to the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Please contact Shana Alford (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8619) to submit comments. Also, visit http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/transportation/minutes to see the latest transportation committee updates.
Planning Leadership Conference. Concerned about the implications of planning & planning law? Interested in learning about best practices in our region? Has your community updated your comprehensive plan lately? To support local and regional planning efforts for the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional Plan, CMAP will host a conference on August 22, 2009, for planning commissioners, elected officials, and municipal staff across the region to dive deeper into topics you deal with every day. Highlights include Leadership and Planning Law, Comprehensive Plans and their Impact, Conservation and Preservation, Planning and Incentives, and Infill Redevelopment. This conference also features a GO TO 2040 Invent the Future workshop. Click here for more information about the event. A $15 registration fee includes continental breakfast and lunch.
Tweets of the Week. We had a lot of great ideas tweeted from workshops this week. Follow our Twitter feed to keep up to date.
Book club. The Chicago Public Library announced that The Plan of Chicago: Daniel Burnham and the Remaking of the American City, will be its featured selection of the One Book, One Chicago book club this fall. I highly recommend the book, which was written by Carl Smith, Franklyn Bliss Snyder Professor of English & American Studies at Northwestern University.
"Pay the Freight" event. On Tuesday, August 11, 2009, from noon to 1:30 p.m., the Metropolitan Planning Council, in partnership with the Canadian Consulate General of Chicago and Union League Club Public Affairs Committee, will hold "Pay the Freight : Rail Infrastructure Investments in Canada and U.S.", a forum on the opportunities, long-term benefits, and need for freight rail investment for better movement of goods. Speakers include U.S. Representative Tom Petri (R-Wis.), member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; Kristine Burr, Canada's assistant deputy minister of policy for transport; and Ron Pillsbury, vice president of planning at McCain Foods Ltd., a global leader in the frozen food industry. Location is the Union League Club, 65 W. Jackson Blvd., 2nd Floor Main Lounge, Chicago. Register online for the roundtable (including lunch), which costs $35 for MPC donors or Union League Club members and $45 for all others. Seating is limited, so pre-registration is required.
In the GO TO 2040 blog. We recapped the Elgin and Avalon Park Invent the Future workshops, Daniel H. Burnham V discusses the new edition of The Plan of Chicago, and we featured a cool photo from Rogers Park.