Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, freight is in the news, including the formation of a new Freight Policy Council, news on the Prairie Parkway, Policy Updates on growing technology transfer at Illinois universities, an upcoming data outage, LTA updates and a featured case study highlights an example of Complete Streets Design. Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail.
Freight in the news. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced formation of a Freight Policy Council to develop a National Freight Strategic Plan as called for by the two-year Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) transportation reauthorization bill. Read more in our Policy Updates blog. The New York Times described how expansion of the Panama Canal is prompting U.S. ports to expand in kind. CMAP's freight cluster drill-down report examines impacts that the Panama Canal expansion may have on freight movement through our own region. I will give a presentation on CMAP's freight work on September 13, 2012, as part of the Great Cities Institute's Real-Time Chicago Seminar Series from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prairie Parkway. Today in the Tribune, Jon Hilkevitch described the Federal Highway Administration action that finalizes the region's decision not to move forward with plans for the Prairie Parkway. As the story notes, GO TO 2040 did not include this project in its prioritized list of fiscally constrained projects.
Policy Updates. Illinois universities have witnessed growth of technology transfer in recent years. Other states' academic institutions continue to outperform those in Illinois, however, according to the August edition of the Illinois Innovation Index. Read more in our Policy Updates blog, Crain's Chicago Business, and the Tribune. In an unrelated Policy Update, we also wrote about the passage of two tax incentive transparency laws in Illinois.
Data outage. Please note that, due to scheduled maintenance, MetroPulse and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) database will be unavailable for approximately 24 hours starting today at 5:00 p.m. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Other News and Announcements
LTA updates. Through our Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, CMAP is working with the Village of Round Lake Heights to develop a comprehensive plan. On the project web page, see photos from the village's recent festival, where CMAP staff shared information about the project and sought input from residents. Also through LTA, CMAP and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Chicago are working with the Village of Hanover Park on a corridor study for revitalization of Irving Park Road between Astor Avenue and Wise Road. On August 28, a public presentation of draft recommendations from the ULI Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) will be held from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Anne Fox School (1035 Parkview Drive, Hanover Park).
CMAP media tip sheet. Our latest tip sheet includes information on the on-line series on property tax classification and the impact on economic development and infill, a new CMAP report on expressway-based Bus Rapid Transit, a series of Policy Updates on freight drill-down report, and more.
Featured case study. The resurfacing of 167th Street in Tinley Park is a great example of Complete Streets design for efficient transportation planning. If you know of an exemplary project for the GO TO 2040 case study library, please contact Lindsay Bayley (312-386-8826) or submit it on-line.
Tollway usage. Since tolls were raised eight months ago, the slight drop in users of the Illinois Tollway system was less than expected, according to the Tribune. These toll increases are helping to fund the 15-year $12.1 billion Move Illinois capital program, which supports many GO TO 2040 major capital projects.
Moving Forward Together. Mercy Housing will host its annual event, Moving Forward Together, on October 2 at Swissotel in Chicago. Purchase tickets on-line.
Green infrastructure call for proposals. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency announced a third round of Illinois Green Infrastructure Grants (IGIG) for stormwater management. Applications are due December 14, 2012.
ComEd business incentives. ComEd offers a range of incentives to help businesses save money on their electric bills while helping the environment at www.comed.com/bizincentives. Business owners can discover inefficiencies in their own buildings using the EnCompass tool from Energy Impact Illinois.
Circle Interchange. On August 30, IDOT will hold a public meeting about its Circle Interchange Study. From 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Marriott Chicago at Medical District/UIC 625 South Ashland Ave. in Chicago, all are welcome to provide input and learned about the proposed project. Prior to completion of Phase I Engineering, the Circle Interchange will need to be evaluated by CMAP for inclusion in GO TO 2040, based on the project's consistency with regional objectives, performance measures, and the federal requirements for fiscal constraint and air quality conformity.
Soles and Spokes. CMAP’s bike-ped planning blog highlighted “Making Trails Count in Illinois,” an effort by Trails for Illinois to count and survey trail users on six different bicycle and multi-use trails around the state to raise awareness of their economic benefits, including the Fox River and Old Plank Road trails in our region.
Public Comment: GO TO 2040 Conformity Analysis and TIP. At its last meeting, the CMAP Transportation Committee released a conformity determination on GO TO 2040 and the FFY 2010-2015 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Please review the cover memo and list of conformity amendments. Comments may be submitted to CMAP by mail, e-mail, or phone (312-454-0400) through September 4.
EI2 rebates. Energy Impact Illinois (EI2) is offering rebates up to $1750 (an estimated 70-percent cost savings) for upgrades you can make to improve the comfort of your home. To get the message out, EI2 now has 20 field staff conducting outreach throughout the region. Keep an eye out for them, organizing house parties or community events. For more information, contact Emily Plagman at email@example.com. To see if you qualify for the rebate, please call 1-855-9-IMPACT.
FLIP applications. Applications are available for our Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP) program, through which high school sophomores, juniors, or seniors from throughout the region meet one Saturday per month to learn about the issues that shape our region’s economy and quality of life. Contact Ricardo Lopez (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8766).
Riverside planning meeting
September 5, 2012
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Riverside Township Auditorium: 27 Riverside Road, Riverside
Hosted by the Village of Riverside and CMAP
Local Planning for a Sustainable Future
September 6, 2012
9:30 a.m. to noon
CMAP: 233 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago
Hosted by CMAP, Chicago Wilderness Sustainability Team