Posted on April 16, 2010 1:25 PM
Weekly Update, 4-16-10
April 16, 2010
Table of Contents
First Off . . .
I appreciate your feedback about the weekly updates, and it's good to know that people find them helpful in general. With submissions now coming from various sources, we have to work at keeping the length manageable. Starting this week, the updates will be in several sections, and the external version for email and this web version will have a clickable table of contents to ease navigation.
Interstate rail. Our region gets mentioned repeatedly in this story about efforts to upgrade Amtrak service, in part with stimulus funds for high-speed rail (HSR). It doesn't take a great leap to imagine Chicago as the hub for HSR, connecting Midwest cities with each other and the rest of the U.S. We are preparing for that eventuality with the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan, as you'll see when the draft plan is issued for comment in June.
Earth Day. Hard to believe it's been 40 years since the first Earth Day in 1970. I was a schoolkid then and remember those activities, and there was even an ecology flag, which you don't often see now. While April 22 is the actual Earth Day anniversary, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a list of activities starting this weekend for people in Illinois and elsewhere. Among the local municipalities listed are Brookfield, Chicago, Hoffman Estates, Naperville, Oak Brook, and Wheaton.
CAN-TV. CMAP's Diana Torres will describe CMAP's GO TO 2040 activities on CAN-TV's Community Forum: Perspectivas Latinas public affairs show on Monday, April 19, 2010, at 11:30 a.m. Conducted in Spanish, the interview segment is called "Vamos Al Ano 2040: Imagina Que . . ." CAN-TV is an independent public-access cable TV station that also provides video training, equipment, and facilities to residents and non-profit groups.
ROI model training. CMAP's Return on Investment (ROI) model is a versatile, easy-to-use tool designed to help municipalities test the physical and financial feasibility of proposed developments, such as mixed-use facilities, under their existing land use regulations. On Friday, April 30, CMAP will offer a free class from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to train municipal planners how to use this helpful tool, which itself is provided free of charge to municipal staff once they complete the training. Space is limited to 10 participants, so please contact Stephen Ostrander at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Green jobs summit. On April 30, CMAP's Lee Deuben will moderate a session at the Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Summit. The day-long event will feature speakers, panel presentations, and discussions on the development of the green collar economy.
Bike Week. Active Trans is sponsoring this year's Bike to Work Week from June 12 to 18, and free registration is now open. Keep an eye on our Soles & Spokes blog for more as the event approaches.
News and Announcements
Call for projects. The RTA is soliciting project proposals for its Funding Programs Call for Projects, which began April 7.
Have a green spring. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced a 15-percent incentive bonus in electric efficiency rebates available for universities and state and federal facilities on top of the normal rebates for energy efficiency projects. Applications are due April 22.
Sustainable mortgage fact book. The Woodstock Institute has an Online Community Lending Fact Book to answer the questions of when lending will pick up and where. Sustainable mortgage lending is a critical ingredient for economic recovery, and this fact book provides important information on neighborhood lending markets and sustainable investment.
Social media. The Engaging Cities website had some nice things to say about CMAP's GO TO 2040 website and how we're working to connect with residents of northeastern Illinois (and beyond) via social media like Twitter and Facebook. In an informative five-minute long video, writer Chris Haller explores our site. We'll be rolling out significant improvements this spring, and the CMAP and GO TO 2040 sites will be consolidated into a single web presence when the regional plan is finalized in October.
Picturing transportation past. The Windy Citizen featured a set of photos taken between the late 1960s and today. The photographer, a true transportation fan, uploaded over 700 images of Chicagoland buses, trains and rail yards to Flickr. So much changes, so much stays the same.
GO TO 2040 blog. We featured a stunning sunset photo from a farm south of Chicago as our Flickr Photo this week. Andrew Williams-Clark shared his thoughts on the second year of the FLIP program and Erin Aleman wrote about next week's FLIP final presentations at the National Museum of Mexican Art. Diana Torres recapped the first of our Partner Tours to the Union Pacific Proviso Yard.
Recovery blog. In case you missed it, we've posted this week's Economic Recovery Update online. We also blogged on the March 2010 report on stimulus progress in Illinois from the Governor's office. This week's ARRA Implementation Spotlight focused on Kendall County's Yorkville-Bristol Sanitary District and its use of stimulus funds for plant improvements.
Soles and Spokes blog. CMAP's bike-ped planning blog featured notice of the upcoming roundtable discussion at the Metropolitan Planning Council, "Talking the Walk: The Importance of Pedestrian Friendly Public Spaces. "We also announced the publication of New York City's "Active Design Guidelines: Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Design,"which provides strategies for creating neighborhoods, streets, and outdoor spaces that encourage walking, bicycling, and active transportation and recreation. We also blogged about the upcoming Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals webinar on bicycle parking best practices, and a new CMAP report on vehicle availability in the Chicago region.
Dial-a-Ride Summit. On April 19, CMAP is hosting a summit on coordinated dial-a-ride systems in DuPage, Kane, Lake, and McHenry Counties. Visit the CMAP Calendar for more information and to RSVP.
FLIP: Event and recruitment. Our Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP) program, offered free of charge for students who are interested in learning about and contributing to a better future for our region, is ending one successful year and beginning another. On Tuesday, April 20, the 2009-2010 FLIP final presentation will be hosted at the National Museum of Mexican Art from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. To RSVP, contact Diana Torres (email@example.com or 312-386-8774). We are also seeking applicants for next year's program, please pass along the 2010-2011 FLIP application to any potentially interested high schoolers (or their families and teachers). Applicants' materials must be submitted by Friday, May 28.
Housing event. On April 28, a workshop is being hosted in response to upcoming changes relating to fair housing issues. "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Identifying the Barriers and Finding Solutions" is designed for municipal and county leaders, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) administrators, and elected officials. Participants will learn how to create Racial Impact Assessments for their communities. Participants can register online, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 866-794-3340.