Posted on February 04, 2011 2:14 PM
February 4, 2011
Table of Contents
Board meeting. The CMAP Board will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 9, 2011. Board meeting materials are available on our website.
Local Technical Assistance. There has been an overwhelming response to our call for projects through CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program. Prior to the January 28 deadline, we received over 130 applications with a total of more than 220 proposed projects. Over the next few weeks CMAP will be evaluating proposals and working with project sponsors to develop more detailed scopes. Work on projects that are high-priority and ready to go will begin in March. I would like to thank the municipalities, counties, interjurisdictional groups, and nongovernmental organizations that applied. You have clearly demonstrated the pent-up demand for planning assistance in our region's communities.
Capital program update. As I mentioned in the last Weekly Update, an Illinois appeals court recently struck down the 2009 capital bill. The court ruled that the law violated the constitution’s single subject requirement, which means that the law had too many different topics bundled together -- ranging from increasing liquor taxes, license plate and registration fees to video poker and the privatization of the state lottery. Governor Quinn and Attorney General Lisa Madigan requested a “stay,” which was granted on February 1. Projects can continue while the appeal is in progress.
Metra chief. Congratulations to Alexander Clifford, who was announced this week as Metra's new executive director and chief executive officer. As part of his agenda of reform, he highlighted the need to modernize the system and to use new technology for improving customer communications, both of which are among GO TO 2040's transit recommendations. He comes to our region from Los Angeles, where he has been executive officer for high-speed rail at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, known as Metro. I wish him great success in serving our residents, and we at CMAP look forward to working with him and Metra to strengthen our region's commitment to transit.
Policy Updates. This week, CMAP's policy blog analyzed shifts in population and household income in metropolitan Chicago using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Understanding population and income growth patterns can help decision makers address quality of life, economic development, and fiscal issues that arise in the region’s communities. In a separate blog post, we also highlighted an analysis by Reconnecting America of federal sustainable communities grants.
GO TO 2040 series at MPC. After the weather prompted cancellation of this week's GO TO 2040 roundtable hosted by the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), the series will instead kick off on February 18. "We Have a Plan. Who's With Us?" will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the MPC Conference Center 140 S. Dearborn, Suite 1400 Chicago, Illinois 60603. You can register on-line for the event, which costs $15 for MPC members and $30 for non-members.
Research events. CMAP will host a joint peer exchange on Advanced Travel Modeling for Freight and Highway Pricing on Friday, February 11, 2011, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. An independent panel of modeling experts has been recruited to provide critique and commentary on CMAP's progress in advanced modeling. And a symposium on Surveying Hard-To-Reach Populations with an emphasis on Latino Households is scheduled for Friday, February 18, 2011, 9:00 a.m. to noon. A panel of travel survey and Latino outreach experts will critique and comment on CMAP's proposed design for overcoming low Latino response to the agency's Travel Tracker survey. Both events are open to the public and will be held at CMAP,233 South Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Willis Tower, Chicago 60606. RSVP to email@example.com. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Water events. On February 10, the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County will host two meetings in Crystal Lake to discuss the Sliver Creek/ Sleepy Hollow Creek Watershed. RSVP to email@example.com or 815-338-0393 by February 8. On February 24, CMAP will host a viewing of the documentary Liquid Assets with the ASCE Illinois Section's Environmental & Water Resources Institute at 5:30 p.m. Registration is free and limited to the first 100 people to register with Katie Owens at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CMAQ Program. A Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program call for projects has been distributed to the local Council of Mayors and major implementers (City of Chicago, IDOT, Counties, and Service Boards). Local sponsors (municipalities, park districts, library districts, forest preserve districts, etc.) must submit an application to their planning liaison by March 18, 2011. The final deadline to submit all applications to CMAP is April 1. To ensure consistency with the comprehensive regional plan, CMAQ application materials now use the GO TO 2040 Focused Programming approach. See our main CMAQ page for more details, including two application workshops. Local sponsors should direct questions to their planning liaison, and all other sponsors should contact Holly Ostdick (312-386-8836 or email@example.com).
Other News and Announcements
Staff progress report. Our second-quarter progress report (October through December) based on CMAP's FY11 work plan is now available online.
Economic Impacts of GO TO 2040. Esther Cepeda of the Sun-Times wrote an excellent column that describes the economic importance of implementing GO TO 2040, quoting Bob Weissbourd of RW Ventures, whose new report on the subject was supported by The Chicago Community Trust. IDOT's Traffic Safety Magazine, CAUTION!, also ran an article written by CMAP Board Chairman Mayor Gerald Bennett of Palos Hills and myself about the GO TO 2040 plan. And the Metro Chicago Information Center recently blogged about their participation in a workshop for CMAP's Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP) high school program.
Green Spotlight. When the Village of Addison and Allied Waste Services distributed free recycling bins to home owners and began a campaign to educate and promote their use, recycling in the community skyrocketed. Within a couple months, participation in the program increased by 70 percent compared to the previous year. Find out more about Addison's efforts in CMAP's latest Green Spotlight.
Green infrastructure guide. The Center for Neighborhood Technology recently released a new guide to help municipalities monetize the value of green infrastructure. Read the full report online.
Green Signals. This week, CMAP’s transportation operations blog informed readers about an upcoming Chicago Area Transportation Modeling User Group presentation on Divergent Diamond Interchanges. The blog also highlighted an upcoming webinar on Real-Time Information Synthesis Assessments. This webinar will summarize applications that have demonstrated environmental benefits through the use of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) technologies.
Soles and Spokes. This week, CMAP’s bike-ped planning blog highlighted a new FHWA TechBrief summarizing how shared-lane pavement markings -- often called “sharrows” -- affect operational and safety measures for bicyclists and motorists. The TechBrief is based on a longer report, which involved experiments in the cities of Chapel Hill, NC, Seattle, WA, and Cambridge, MA. We also reported on a new study, in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, which suggests that walkable communities have a higher quality of life and happier people.
UP Metra Northwest and North Lines community safety workshop. The Northwest Municipal Conference, Union Pacific Railroad, Metra, Illinois Commerce Commission, and Operation Lifesaver will conduct a workshop to address railroad safety in our communities on February 10, 2011, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Oakton Community College. RSVP online.
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