Posted on July 02, 2010 1:59 PM
Weekly Update, 7-2-10
Table of Contents
State's new fiscal year. With yesterday's start of the state’s new fiscal year, the new state budget took effect. In Chicago, Governor Quinn signed several budget related bills into law while announcing vetoes that reduced the FY 2011 budget by $1.4 billion. The reductions are concentrated in the Departments of Education, Higher Education, Aging, Human Services, Healthcare and Family Services, Public Health, Children and Family Services, Corrections and the Illinois State Police. As previously reported, no funding was identified for the Comprehensive Regional Planning Fund in the budget bill; however, funding for MPOs and regional planning agencies statewide was included in IDOT’s FY 11 budget and remains in the budget signed by Governor Quinn. The following bills were signed:
In addition to the budget reductions made through vetoes, the Governor signed Executive Order 10 (2010) to require spending reductions such as: travel expenses, vehicle use, printing, telecommunications, overtime pay, leasing of office space, contractual spending, energy efficiency, managed care for Medicaid, and sale of surplus equipment and property. EO 10-10 also requires all agencies to report spending reduction on http://www.accountability.illinois.gov/ to illustrate agencies’ progress in spending reductions. For more information, visit http://www.budget.illinois.gov/.
U.S. EPA award. On June 30, CMAP was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (U.S. EPA) Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative (MCDI) Leadership Group for our work to reduce diesel emissions through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ). Since 2005, we have programmed over $72 million in federal funding to clean-diesel projects in the region, including diesel retrofits for transit buses. Other awardees include the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago, and Brian Mormino of Cummins, Inc. I'd like to thank the MCDI Leadership Group and U.S. EPA for this honor. We will continue to promote work that reduces diesel emissions through GO TO 2040.
Visioning Aurora. The City of Aurora, in collaboration with CMAP and the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), is conducting a visioning and planning process regarding the development of the City's near east side. The third and final workshop will be held on July 22, from 6:00 to 8:30 P.M. at the Fred Rodgers Community Center. The Beacon-News and Daily Hearld both published articles on earlier visioning workshops.
Green tools. On July 27, CMAP and the U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC) Illinois Chapter's State and Local Government Committee will host a workshop, "Going Green & Paying for It: Green Tools for Municipalities." The workshop will offer useful information on how municipal leaders and others can save energy and money through green building practices, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. The event features two panel discussions and runs from 8:00 a.m. to noon. The cost to USBGC members and government agencies is $10 and $20 for others. For questions, contact Lori Heringa (312-386-8621 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Future City competition. Registration is now open for the 2011 Future City National Finals. The program is designed for seventh- and eighth-grade students interested in engineering. The finals will be hosted from February 18 to 22, 2011, in Washington, DC.
Other News and Announcements
GO TO 2040 en Español. We have posted the draft GO TO 2040 plan Executive Summary in Spanish.
Climate change exhibit. The Field Museum is hosting a new exhibit on climate change through November 28, to coincide with the release of the Climate Action Plan for Nature by Chicago Wilderness and the Nature Conservancy. The plan is designed to mirror the Chicago Climate Action Plan (CCAP) with a focus on nature rather than the urban emphasis of CCAP. Be sure to check out the Chicago Climate Action Room with posters from CMAP, Chicago Wilderness, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and others.
House-hunting by bike. Chicago Public Radio ran an interesting piece on the growing popularity of bikable communities. Steve Buchtel of the Active Transportation Alliance has been leading house-hunting trips by bike so potential buyers can see how bike-friendly certain communities are. GO TO 2040 recommends the development of livable, walkable (and bikeable) communities, as described in the Challenges and Opportunities chapter and elsewhere throughout the draft plan.
Recycle that cup. Starbucks announced that this coming fall, Chicago will be a test-market for a new paper recycling program. The area’s coffee shops will soon offer you special bins to recycle your used paper coffee cups. The cups will then be turned into Starbucks paper napkins at a plant in Wisconsin. An interesting Seattle Times piece on the program points out the challenges that not only businesses but also municipalities face when trying to implement successful recycling programs.
GO TO 2040 blog. This week we featured an enlightening photo of one of the thousands of lightning strikes the area saw when storms rolled through last week.
Soles and Spokes. This week, CMAP’s bike-ped blog alerted readers to the upcoming Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) webinar on pedestrian safety measures from around the world -- part of a recent tour of Europe by bicycle and pedestrian planning professionals from the U.S. We announced the call for projects by IDOT for the 2010 Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP). We also described the U.S. EPA grant program, “Climate Showcase Communities.” And finally, we directed readers to the important new report, sponsored by FHWA and published by PBIC, The National Bicycling and Walking Study: 15-year Status Report.
Have your say. The draft GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan remains available for public comment through August 6, 2010. Have your say by commenting or attending one of the CMAP open houses across the region this summer. Our next one is at the Woodstock Public Library in McHenry County on July 13, 2010, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The Northwest Herald recently published an article about the upcoming meeting.
Green webinar. On July 6, CMAP will host a webinar, "What Does Green Mean? Recognizing the Real Deal in Products, Processes, and Purchasing" at 10:00 a.m. (CDT). Participants will learn how to tell when products are truly green versus those just claiming to be (known as "greenwashing"), as well as about an innovative green firm and a regional web resource to help find the products you're looking for. Register now or contact Lori Heringa (312-386-8621 or email@example.com).
Congestion pricing roundtable. On July 8, MPC will host a roundtable, The Road Less Traveled: Understanding Congestion Pricing. The federal government is testing several programs across the country to combat bottlenecks, and Jeffrey Lindley will address congestion reduction strategies under consideration by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The panel is from noon to 1:30 p.m., and registration is available online.
FLIP deadline extended. We've extended the application deadline for Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP) to August 13. FLIP is our high school leadership development program for students interested in learning about and contributing to a better future for our region. Please continue to pass along applications to any potentially interested high schoolers (or their families and teachers).