Posted on November 04, 2011 1:35 PM
CMAP Weekly Update, 11-4-11
Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, the Energy Impact Illinois alliance has released powerful new tools to help residents lower their energy bills, TIP comments are invited, a number of Local Technical Assistance projects are in full swing, major improvements are on tap for the CTA Red Line, and the south suburbs will benefit from information infrastructure funding. Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail.
Table of Contents
CMAP meetings. The CMAP Board will meet next week at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 9, 2011. At 8:00 a.m. that morning, the Local Coordinating Committee will meet. All materials can be found by clicking on the respective links.
New energy efficiency tools. The public-private Energy Impact Illinois alliance (EI2) has launched a personalized energy calculator and financial resources for Chicago area homeowners to help them make energy efficient improvements to their homes. Located at TheEnergyBills.org, the free tools teach homeowners about their current energy usage, provide information on how to make smart energy investments, and connect them with financial resources to make those investments a reality. The site helps individuals understand how they use energy, how to lower utility bills while improving energy efficiency, and how to connect with the right resources and contractors to implement those actions. Be sure to check out the new Energy Bills campaign on Facebook and Twitter.
TIP comment period. An amendment to the FFY 2010-2015 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and conformity analysis for GO TO 2040 and the TIP was released for public comment on November 3 (through December 2, 2011). Conformity analysis is part of the transportation modeling process that evaluates the impact of projects on air quality. Read more in an explanatory memo. Send written comments to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, ATTN TIP amendments, Suite 800, 233 S. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL, 60606. Comments can also be made via e-mail or phone (312-386-8780).
Other News and Announcements
LTA in the news. In a recent article, the Times of Northwest Indiana covered the ongoing projects in CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, including those in Fairmont and Park Forest. The article quotes CMAP staff Bob Dean and Jessica Simoncelli. The Algonquin Patch also wrote about an LTA grant that will help the Village of Algonquin with community and development planning in its downtown. The Harwood Heights - Norridge News also wrote about last week's visioning workshop for the development of Norridge's comprehensive plan.
Carpentersville and MetroQuest. Last night 50 residents and businesses helped begin a planning effort for Carpentersville's Old Town area. At the public workshop, CMAP and village staff rolled out a new version of the MetroQuest scenario software that has been customized for the LTA program. The event was part of a Carpentersville Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
Transportation reauthorization. In our Policy Updates blog, we wrote about how the U.S. Senate's transportation reauthorization bill is heading to the Environment and Public Works Committee for mark up next week. A related press release from Congressman Dan Lipinski quotes CMAP Board chairman Gerald Bennett, mayor of Palos Hills.
Red Line improvements. The CTA Red Line will undergo significant improvements funded by $702.4 million from the Illinois Jobs Now capital program, matched by the City of Chicago's $44.1 million and $255.5 million from the federal government. The federal portion includes $86.6 million for the Clark/Division station from our Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality improvement program (CMAQ). Read more in the Tribune coverage. Please note that these improvements are distinct from the Red Line South Extension that is among the highest priority capital projects recommended by GO TO 2040.
Southland broadband project. Congratulations to the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA) on a new information infrastructure project funded by Illinois Jobs Now and Cook County. Announced last Friday, the effort will improve broadband Internet capabilities that are important for economic development, education, and health care.
Water pricing webinar. On November 8, the Wisconsin and Illinois sections of the American Water Works Association will host a webinar, Ensuring Sustainable Water Systems through Innovative, Full Cost Water Pricing, from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. CMAP's Margaret Schneemann will be presenting, along with Drema Gross from the Austin Water Utility and Jan Beecher from Michigan State University's Institute of Public Utilities.
Blackberry Creek Watershed presentation. On November 9, leaders of the Blackberry Creek Watershed Planning initiative, including CMAP's Holly Hudson, will provide an update of their work at the Blackberry Township monthly meeting. The meeting will be held at the Blackberry Township Municipal Building (43W390 Main Street Road, Elburn) at 7:00 p.m. To learn more about this, and other upcoming meetings, visit TribLocal. The Southtown Star recently wrote about the Hickory Creek Watershed plan, which was completed in June. CMAP's Jesse Elam is quoted in the story.
Green Opportunities Hack Salon. Also on November 9, Apps for Metro Chicago will host “Go Green Hack Salon” at the Green Exchange-Greenhouse Loft (2545 W. Diversey Avenue) from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event will include experts discussing green ideas and sustainability concerns, group collaboration and app building. To attend, register on-line.
High Speed Rail Symposium. On November 14, Northwestern University will host the 2011 Lipinski Symposium "High Speed Rail: Perspectives and Prospects," from 8:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Green codes and standards. On November 15, CMAP will host the U.S. Green Building Council - Illinois Chapter, International Code Council, and ASHRAE Illinois for a roundtable program on understanding and implementing green codes, standards, and rating systems in your municipality at 8:00 a. m.
Loop walking tour. WTTW has posted a preview of Geoffrey Baer's upcoming special, “Chicago’s Loop: A New Walking Tour," which will have its premiere on November 29 at 7:30 p.m. In case you missed it, be sure to see his "Biking the Boulevards."
Sustainable neighborhood design assistance. Global Green, with partners, is providing free sustainable neighborhood design technical assistance to a select number of cities across the country. Applications are due November 23.
Best downtowns. Forbes magazine ranked Chicago as America's best downtown.
CMAP’s transportation operations blog informed readers of a new website about system operation and management guidance
. Soles and Spokes.
CMAP’s bike-ped planning blog announced the release of the 2011 policy report
from the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) National Partnership
, which outlines the long-term financial benefits of the program and the projects it helps fund. We also wrote about the new FHWA report
summarizing results of five one-day regional livability workshops. Policy Updates.
In addition to the transportation reauthorization bill markup, we also wrote about a new state initiative to support innovation called Advantage Illinois
Case study library.
CMAP has created a web database
of completed local projects that reflect recommendations of the GO TO 2040 plan. If you know of an exemplary project that should be included, please contact Lindsay Banks (email@example.com
Congress of Cities and Expo
November 8 to 12, 2011
Hosted by the National League of Cities
More information The Truth About Drain Tiles
November 9, 2011
Countryside School: 205 W. County Line Road, Barrington Hills
Hosted by the Flint Creek & Spring Creek Watershed Partnerships
More information Berwyn Planning Meeting
November 19, 2011
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Berwyn Police Department: 6401 W. 31st Street
Hosted by the City of Berwyn and CMAP