Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, the announcement of the Millenium Reserve project's Calumet Core phase and its restoration of open space to south side of Chicago and south suburban Cook County, media coverage of the West Cook housing grants, additions to the CMAP case studies map, and tips from the Energy Bills on winterizing your home. Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail.
CMAP meetings. Just a reminder that the Board is not meeting next week. However, the Regional Coordinating Committee is meeting on December 14, at 9:30 a.m. Agenda and materials can be found here.
Millennium Reserve. Today local, state, and federal officials announced the Millennium Reserve project's Calumet Core phase to restore 15,000 acres of open space on the south side of Chicago and south suburban Cook County. Important aspects of the Millennium Reserve initiative are enabled by federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program funds, more than $10 million of which CMAP has allocated to create a continuous bikeway from the Chicago lakefront to Joliet. I was privileged to represent CMAP as a speaker at today's event, where I described the project's importance in relation to GO TO 2040 priorities for quality of life, the environment, health, mobility, economic development, and more.
West Cook housing grants. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has awarded $4.2 million to the West Cook County Housing Collaborative, a joint effort of Bellwood, Berwyn, Forest Park, Maywood, and Oak Park to finance, renovate, and make available affordable housing throughout west suburban Cook County. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will also provide the Collaborative with $2.9 million to create or update the communities' comprehensive plans and to revisit outdated zoning and infrastructure plans that impede transit-oriented, affordable housing development. The Collaborative is funded by The Chicago Community Trust and Grand Victoria Foundation, with technical assistance from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), and CMAP. Read more in a related fact sheet and news from the Chicago Tribune, CBS Chicago, ABC 7, and on MPC's website.
CMAP case studies map. CMAP has added a new set of local case studies to its web database of completed local projects that reflect recommendations of the GO TO 2040 plan. Among these additions are the Chicago Water Taxi, the ComEd Smart Meter program and Hadley Valley Forest Preserve. Case studies are updated quarterly and are available in an interactive map highlighting projects and people that exemplify the goals and objectives of region's comprehensive plan. If you know of an exemplary project that should be included, please contact Lindsay Banks (email@example.com or 312-386-8826).
Other News and Announcements
Winterizing your home. As the temperatures continue to drop, Energy Impact Illinois is encouraging homeowners to prepare for winter to make the most of their energy and keep their bills from skyrocketing. The biggest impact homeowners can have is to seal any air leaks and consider installing a programmable thermostat. Information on these tips and more can be found atTheEnergyBills.org. Today, the popular (188,000 unique visitors per month) environmental blog Grist.org featured The Energy Bills and Energy Impact Illinois.
More LTA. Berwyn residents participated in a public community meeting for development of the city’s comprehensive plan in November. View a slideshow with photos from the event.
Apps4Chicago. Public voting is in progress in the Apps for Metro Chicago contest to select our region's best mobile data apps, with the winners to be announced one week from today.
NIRPC newsletter. The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) fall newsletter describes the start of implementation for that three-county region's first comprehensive plan.
OECD. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) held a meeting this week in France to discuss the group's study of the three-state megaregion that includes Indiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois. CMAP had contributed to that draft report and to the discussions that were held locally prior to this week's meeting in Paris.
Union Station plan. The City of Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will present ideas for its Union Station Master Plan at a public meeting from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 15, at Union Station.
Sustainable Energy Planning Workshop. DCEO will host Sustainable Energy Planning Workshop: Training & Implementation Program on December 13 (16333 South Kilborn Ave, Oak Forest) and December 14 (160 North LaSalle St, Chicago) from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The three-step program targets municipalities, school districts, other public sector organizations, manufacturers, and commercial enterprises. For more information call 312-558-1685. Register on-line at www.utilivate.com/sep-registration.html.
Soles and Spokes. CMAP’s bike-ped planning blog reported on a new Federal Highway Administration research report examining methods used to conduct reliable evaluations of pedestrian and bicycle traffic control devices. We also alerted readers to the funding opportunity offered by The Chicago Community Trust through its Community-Based Sustainable Development program.
Policy Updates. Efforts to coordinate services and share data are continuing at state and local levels -- the State of Illinois greatly expanded its open data portal in November, and the City of Chicago and Cook County’s joint committee, formed earlier this year, has identified a combined $11 million in savings and revenues for their respective 2012 budgets. We also wrote about recent state legislative activity, including two budget reallocation bills and efforts to retain businesses through tax breaks.
Green Signals. CMAP’s transportation operations blog told readers about an upcoming systems engineering for adaptive signal control technology webinar.
Emerald Ash Borer management grants. Applications for the third round of the Illinois Urban Forest Restoration and Technical Assistance Grants for Emerald Ash Borer management are due January 20, 2012. Emerald Ash Borer is considered one of the greatest and costliest threats to the "urban canopy," depriving communities of trees that provide shade and valuable ecosystem services. Visit the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus website for more information, including upcoming grant workshops and webinars.
GIS workshops. CMAP offers a low-cost, introductory, hands-on ArcGIS 10 workshop. The next two-day sessions will be January 25 to 26, March 7 to 8, April 18 to 19, and May 30 to 31. Cost is $350 per person, which includes a manual. Please contact Jan Drennan (312-386-8686 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or David Clark (312-386-8682 or email@example.com).
Streets for Cycling Plan 2020. The City of Chicago will host an open house TOMORROW for the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The plan will identify a network of bicycling facilities that will make bike trips safe and comfortable for Chicagoans. The open house flyer is also available in Spanish. For additional meeting information, visit www.facebook.com/StreetsForCycling2020.
Alliance for Healthy & Active Communities quarterly meeting
December 15, 2011
1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Cicero Community Center, 2250 S. 49th Ave., Cicero
Register in advance
Blackberry Creek Watershed planning meeting
December 20, 2011
2:00 to 4:00p.m.
Waubonsee Community College: Bodie Hall Room 150, 4S783 Illinois 47, Sugar Grove
Hosted by the Fox River Ecosystem Partnership, The Conservation Foundation, and CMAP