Posted on January 08, 2010 1:15 AM
Weekly Update, 1-8-10
CMAP meetings. At 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 13, 2010, the CMAP Board will meet. Click here for Board meeting materials. Prior to the Board, CMAP's Planning Coordinating Committee will meet at 8:00 a.m. Click here for committee materials. At 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 14, the MPO Policy Committee will meet. Click here for those materials.
2010. I hope you all enjoyed the 2009 holiday season. It could almost go without saying, but 2010 is going to be a pivotal year for our region. At CMAP, we're privileged to be in a position to influence many of those outcomes for the better, helping to improve quality of life for our neighbors across northeastern Illinois. Together, we've built a strong foundation for success, and now it's time to deliver on behalf of those residents and our many supporters.
Second City of data. The blogger John Tolva posted a thoughtful article about the role data can play in effecting meaningful changes to improve residents' quality of life. We are applying the same thought process to our comprehensive regional plan -- and the related Regional Indicators Project, a partnership of CMAP and The Chicago Community Trust -- to increase data sharing and transparency across agencies and jurisdictions and make it a regional priority, as will be discussed at next week's CMAP Board meeting.
More diverse and aging population. According to the newest American Community Survey data (2005 to 2008 three-year estimates), overall population growth continues to flow outward from our region's core. This also holds for race categories, such as Asian, Black/African American, and Latino groups. Also, almost all counties outside of Cook grew older, showing increases in persons age 65 and older. See our analyses for highlights and detailed tables.
Highway Ride Quality in the Chicago Region. CMAP has compiled an overview of highway ride quality conditions for the expressway and principal arterial systems in the Chicago region, using International Roughness Index (IRI) data for the years 2003 and 2006. For this performance measure, the Federal Highway Administration has defined "acceptable" ride quality. By roadway type, the IRI was considered in an "acceptable" range for 90.5 percent of expressway route-miles in 2006, up from 88.4 percent in 2003. For principal arterials, the IRI was "acceptable" for 61.9 percent of route-miles in 2006, down from 68.2 percent in 2003. Performance measurement endeavors like this should give the public and officials an insight into current conditions, national comparisons, and historic trends. We also hope the information leads to support for system improvements. For more information, see the report.
Household travel and activity inventory. And on still another data-related note, CMAP has released a series of improved weights for our Travel Tracker Survey, the comprehensive travel and activity survey for northeastern Illinois. The improvements will help analysts at partner organizations who need the data to better understand household-based travel in the region.
Metra stations in limbo. Two planned Metra stations in Chicago's South and North Sides are on hold until money comes from the state, reports the Chicago Tribune. CMAP's Doug Ferguson was interviewed about the benefits that new stations can bring, including the attraction of new businesses and reduction of traffic congestion.
CMAQ green parking lot. Through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) improvement program, CMAP has funded a green parking lot in Glenview with permeable pavers and a bioswale to capture and treat stormwater runoff. These are both examples of "green infrastructure" practices -- a more natural alternative to "gray infrastructure" such as gutters and storm drains -- that are an important part of the draft preferred Regional Scenario. This parking lot services the Glenview Metra station, helping reduce the distance people need to drive to work. CMAQ targets federal highway funds for projects that reduce congestion and vehicle exhaust emissions.
FLIP art. Congratulations to Cooper Zajac, a participant in CMAP's Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP) high school leadership development program, who placed second in the 15th Annual City of Chicago Vehicle Sticker Design Contest. Cooper is a sophomore at Lincoln Park High School and will receive a $500 savings bond, an award certificate, and a City Council honorary resolution at a City Hall awards ceremony on January 14, 2010. See his design here.
Peters Fellowship competition. CMAP and the Steering Committee of the Phillip D. Peters Regional Planning Fellowship Program are pleased to announce the availability of a fellowship during the summer of 2010. The competition is open to students enrolled in a graduate degree program in planning or a related field. Click here for the position announcement, application guidelines, and recommendation form. Note that the deadline is Wednesday, February 17, 2010. The fellow will be announced by March 29, 2010. Questions regarding the fellowship should be directed to Catherine Holland-Hatcher, HR Associate, at 312-386-8772 or email@example.com.
New partners in Full Circle. Early last year, CMAP solicited proposals for funding from our Full Circle community planning and mapping project. Municipalities were invited to apply through their Regional Council of Mayors (COM) or Council of Government (COG). This week we will highlight the outcomes of South Elgin's project to map properties in the Fox River floodplain. With information gathered using the Full Circle mapping toolkit, the Village will improve its emergency response before and when flooding occurs, as well as create a historical record of structures along the Fox River floodplain. The Village is now able to create a comprehensive tool that can aid in reducing the detrimental effects of flooding and assist the community to plan for the future, as well as respond more effectively to flooding issues. South Elgin's floodplain mapping project is the first of its kind within the region and the Full Circle program.
Model City extended. The Chicago Architecture Foundation Chicago Model City exhibit has been extended through November 2010. Located at 224 S. Michigan, it includes the first large-scale city model fabricated with an innovative rapid prototyping process called stereolithography. An audio tour of the exhibit features comments by CMAP's Jesse Elam on the importance of a regional approach to climate change.
2010 Census coming soon. Starting in February and March, the 2010 Census will be mailed to households across the country. Conducted every 10 years, the U.S. Census provides a vital snapshot of the nation's growing and changing population and demographics. Census data can help determine the allocation of federal funds for community programs. Keep an eye out for the questionnaire mailer, which is just 10 questions long and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete -- time extremely well-spent.
Bus rapid transit. CMAP's Tom Murtha was quoted in a Tribune article about three new Pace express bus routes, which are seen as precursors for a Chicago version of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). BRT will enable commuters to travel as swiftly as on rail transit, but at a much lower cost.
In the GO TO 2040 blog. We announced the twelve winning pictures (from a pool of over 400 entries) in our Images of Northeastern Illinois Photo Contest. There's also an online slideshow where you can view the beautiful photographs. We have a 2010 calendar in the works, available shortly, as well as a public art show coming soon. Thanks to all who participated in the contest and to our sponsors and judges.
Preserve water supply. CMAP was highlighted for its work with the Aurora and the Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Supply Planning Group to preserve our water supply in a letter to the editor in Crain's Chicago Business. Read the letter from the presidents of Openlands and the Metropolitan Planning Council and the Mayor of Aurora here.
Recovery blog. Did you miss this week's Economic Recovery Update? It's posted on our Recovery blog, along with resources to search stimulus spending in your county. Other highlights include information about a meeting held in December between housing collaboratives and financial institutions to discuss community stabilization efforts and an entry on the energy efficiency grant proposal submitted by CMAP on behalf of the seven-county region with the cities of Chicago and Rockford. We also blogged about new reports and maps from the Government Accountability Office and State of Illinois.
Market analysis event. CMAP and partners will host a seminar on January 25, 2010, designed to offer practical advice to planners, economic developers, and municipal managers on getting the most out of a market analysis. The event, "Process, Pitfalls, and Profit: Effective Market Analysis Techniques," will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the ComEd Commercial Center. Online registration is $50 with lunch included. Click here for more information.