Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, the Policy Updates blog covers recent actions of the U.S. House and Senate on federal transportation reauthorization, including the news on transit funding, a kick off meeting for water planning in the Village of Orland Park, a video interview on the importance and true cost of public transit, and MetroPulse will be featured as a best practice case study. Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail.
Policy Updates. A new CMAP Policy Update focuses on climate adaptation at the regional level, exploring adjustments that should be made in how we plan, build, operate, and update systems to help cope with weather impacts due to climate change. Regarding transportation reauthorization, there was news late yesterday that the U.S. House of Representatives leadership is ready to abandon its effort to strip support for transit funding out of the current Highway Trust Fund. We also described recent actions by the House and Senate on federal transportation reauthorization -- floor consideration of both bills will resume next week.
Other News and Announcements
Water planning in Orland Park. The Village of Orland Park is seeking to increase water conservation and efficiency, with support from CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program. This week, CMAP and the Village hosted a well-attended public meeting where residents and business owners discussed how to manage and conserve water in all sectors of the community. The next public meeting will be held on March 21.
LTA in the news. The Village of Algonquin is kicking off the development of downtown land use and redevelopment plan. The village received a $90,000 grant from the joint CMAP/RTA Community Planning Program.
Route 53/120 planning in the news. The Chicago News Cooperative wrote about the work of the Illinois Route 53/120 Blue Ribbon Advisory Council, including the day-long design workshop hosted at CMAP's offices two weeks ago. The Daily Herald also covered the story, which you can view if you're a subscriber.
True cost of public transit. The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) interviewed me about the importance and true cost of public transit to the region. The video is part of “One Nation, Under Construction,” a web component related to the CAF's new exhibit, "Loop Value: The How Much Does it Cost? Shop."
Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Summit. The fifth annual Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Summit will take place on April 12 at the Arturo Velasquez Institute. This year's summit was developed in partnership with the Illinois Green Economy Network and the Greenforce Initiative.
EcoSummit 2012. Registration is now open for EcoSummit 2012, which will be held in Columbus, Ohio, from September 30 through October 5. The conference is billed as the first ever to link the Ecological Society of America (ESA), The International Association for Ecology (INTECOL), and the Society for Ecological Restoration International (SER), presenting a platform for dialogue among researchers, planners, and decision makers regarding the complex nature of ecological systems. Exhibition opportunities are currently available.
U.S. EPA award and technical assistance. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Award for Smart Growth Achievement program seeks applications by April 6, 2012 from public- and private-sector entities that have successfully used smart growth principles in communities. The agency is also offering technical assistance for 10 to 20 partner communities through its Green Infrastructure program.
Greenways and Trails Plan implementation. CMAP has compiled 2012 estimates on progress toward implementing the trails element of the Northeastern Illinois Regional Greenways and Trails Plan. Including projects let through March 2012, approximately 40 percent of the proposed trail system is complete, up by about three percent from when the plan was last updated in 2009. A chart showing 2009 and 2012 implementation by county is included on MetroPulse. GO TO 2040 set the target of doubling the mileage of trail greenways in the region to 1,348 miles by 2040 to expand and improve parks and open space in northeastern Illinois.
Charting unemployment. CMAP's MetroPulse website can chart how unemployment has changed across the region since the peak of the last recession in 2001 through our current recession up to 2010.
UMN case study of MetroPulse. A University of Minnesota (UMN) report on tracking indicators that relate to regional plans will feature MetroPulse as a best practice case study. The study's author recently wrote about MetroPulse for the American Planning Association's blog.
New transportation data application. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics recently launched Transportation Facts and Figures, an interactive web transportation mapping application providing state-by-state transportation data, comparisons, and rankings. All data are downloadable. Examples of data categories available include transportation infrastructure, safety, freight/passenger travel, energy usage, and the environment.
Soles and Spokes. CMAP’s bike-ped planning blog featured a new report published by America Walks on signalized intersection enhancements that benefit pedestrians, covering geometric design, signal hardware, and operational approaches. We also highlighted a recent study on the reasons why people might choose walking and cycling for short, routine trips, which indicates the strong connection between land use and non-motorized transportation.
Ike Planning Program. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has opened applications for the Illinois “Ike” Disaster Recovery Planning Program. DCEO will host workshops and teleconference calls to inform local governments about this program. CMAP encourages communities to pursue multijurisdictional applications and will offer assistance to applicants seeking to do this. Interested local governments should contact Stephen Ostrander (312-386-8696 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Applications are due March 30, 2012.
GO TO 2040 implementation report. CMAP has released Moving Forward 2010-2011, our first annual GO TO 2040 implementation report. In conjunction with the report, we printed a combination poster-brochure and would love to see it on walls across the region. Please grab a copy or two the next time you visit us, and we can make a box available for distribution by partner organizations. Contact Hillary Green (email@example.com or 312-386-8619).
Chicago Card Plus I-GO card discounts available. Individuals can receive a $50 transit fare credit and a heavily discounted I-GO membership when they sign up for a Chicago Card Plus I-GO card by February 29, which seamlessly allows members to access CTA buses and trains and I-GO Car Sharing vehicles. Existing I-GO members will received $20 in driving credit for each referral that signs up for the new card before the deadline.
AMPO conference. The 2012 Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO) Annual Conference will be held September 11-14 in Saratoga Springs, NY. The deadline to submit presentation proposals for the Conference is March 2.
Winter energy savings workshop
February 25, 2011
1:00 to 2:30 p.m.
Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy: 2520 S. Western Avenue, Chicago
Hosted by CMAP and the Chicago Conservation Corps
Elmwood Park planning meeting
March 1, 2012
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Elmwood Park Recreation Center Gym: 2 Conti Parkway, Elmwood Park
Hosted by the Village of Elmwood Park and CMAP
More information Grant Writing Class
March 20 to 21, 2012
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Cook County Sheriff's Policy Training Academy: 2000 N. 5th Avenue, Building R, Room 304, River Grove
Hosted by Grant Writing USA