Posted on April 08, 2011 2:33 PM
April 8, 2011
Table of Contents
Community Planning Program. On April 6, 2011, CMAP, in collaboration with the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), launched the 2012 Community Planning Program. This competitive grant program will provide funding for northeastern Illinois municipalities to participate in projects linking land use and transportation. The partnership between the two agencies will provide additional funding to an expanded base of eligible applicants and projects, as well as facilitate inter-agency coordination. The deadline for receipt of applications is 3:00 p.m. CST on June 9, 2011. CMAP and RTA staff will host the following open house events:
- April 25, 2:45 to 5:00 p.m., RTA Offices (Board Room, 175 West Jackson Blvd, Suite 1650, Chicago)
- April 26, 1:30 to 6:00 p.m., Arlington Heights Village Hall (Community Meeting Room, 33 South Arlington Heights Rd, Arlington Heights)
- April 27, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., DuPage County Building (Auditorium, 421 North County Farm Rd, Wheaton)
- April 28, 1:30 to 6:00 p.m., South Suburban Mayors & Managers Offices, 1906 West 174th St, East Hazel Crest)
CMAQ projects. The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) call for projects resulted in over 320 applications from local sponsors and regional agencies that want to implement capital projects tied to GO TO 2040. CMAP will program $350 million to $400 million over five years for these projects.
Other News and Announcements
HB 3372 discussion. On April 20, 2011, at 1:30, CMAP and Chicago Wilderness will host a discussion of the proposed amendment to Stormwater Management Bill 3372, along with updates on the Green Infrastructure Vision strategic plan, a new report “The Value of Green Infrastructure: A Guide to Recognizing Its Economic, Social and Environmental Benefits,” and other topics. RSVP to Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CMAP in the news. Audio is now available from my interview with WNIJ on how to accommodate our aging population. On Tuesday, CMAP's Tom Murtha participated in a Trib Nation Community Conversation on Mass Transit. The Joliet Herald News also wrote about the new land use and infrastructure plan being prepared for Fairmont by a partnership of Will County and CMAP. Cook County property taxes are featured in a series by Patch.com, which referred readers to CMAP's State and Local Taxation snapshot report. The Patch news site also featured an informative video on how property taxes are determined by the County.
Highway improvements. Governor Quinn and IDOT Secretary Hannig yesterday announced the state's six-year strategy for FY2012-17 highway construction. See press releases for each IDOT district, including District 1.
Clean Air Challenge. The Chicago Clean Air Design Challenge is still open for entries and will be for the next few weeks. The challenge to improve air quality is aimed at the design community (designers, architects, planners, etc.) and is centered on the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods in Chicago. Entries are due April 18.
Reducing barriers. New ideas on how to reduce barriers for entrepreneurs can now be submitted on-line for the new White House Startup American initiative. To learn more, read CMAP's Policy Updates blog entry.
Call for papers. The Section on Transportation Policy and Administration issue a call for its student paper competition. Submissions should be sent to John Bartle at email@example.com by April 29, 2011.
HB 14. Illinois House Bill 14 is an initiative to modernize the existing electric grid and meter system, and to modify the method used to determine electricity rates in Illinois. The bill would impact customers of ComEd, Ameren, People’s Gas, North Shore Gas, and Nicor Gas, and would provide a framework for a long-term infrastructure investment program made by utilities. For ComEd, a $1.1 billion investment over a five-year period would include electric system upgrades, modernization projects, and training facilities. An additional $1.5 billion investment over a 10-year period by ComEd would upgrade and modernize the transmission and distribution infrastructure with smart meters, distribution automation, cyber-secure state communication, and substation micro- processor relay upgrades. The corresponding investments for Ameren are lower as it is a smaller utility but would still total over $460 million. These investments are rolled into the utilities' annual capital program. With this framework in place, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) would undergo an annual proceeding to determine whether the utility may recover the costs of the investment in the smart grid technologies. Proponents of the bill state that investment in smart grid technology should increase energy efficiency, lower bills for consumers, and increase prepare for clean energy future. Opponents claim that the bill weakens ICC oversight on utilities and allows rate increases to be “fast-tracked” through a shorter review period.
Green Signals. CMAP’s transportation operations blog informed readers that IDOT adopted the 2009 National Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) along with the Illinois Supplement to the MUTCD.
Soles and Spokes. CMAP’s bike-ped planning blog highlighted a new FHWA study examining the relative visibility of three common crosswalk striping patterns. We also blogged about a new report from England on street design for people who are blind or have low vision.
Policy Updates. Over the next several weeks, CMAP’s Policy Updates blog will provide updates on how the GO TO 2040 capital projects are developing. The first piece examined the Elgin O’Hare Expressway and West O’Hare Bypass Improvements. Brookings also published an interesting analysis of 2010 Census data at the national level.
GO TO 2040 roundtable. If you missed the last Metropolitan Planning Council roundtable on GO TO 2040 (titled "We have a Plan. What Do We Need?"), a summary and photos are now available. The next roundtable, "We Have a Plan. Let's Do It!" will be held on April 27. CMAP Board member President Michael Gorman of the Village of Riverside will introduce and moderate the April panel.
Apply for FLIP. The 2011-2012 FLIP (Future Leaders in Planning) application is now available. Please share materials with local high school students who would be interested in learning more about planning and contribute to make a better future for our region. Keep up with FLIP by becoming a fan of its Facebook page.
EcoSummit 2012. An initial announcement of speakers at EcoSummit 2012 includes a Nobel laureate and winners of the Kyoto, Pulitzer, and Stockholm prizes. To be held in Columbus, Ohio, 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.
Safety Express. From April 13 to 21, Union Pacific Railroad invites local officials, law enforcement, business leaders, and community leaders to ride aboard the Safety Express. These safety trains will focus on highway-rail grade crossing safety. Specific times, locations, RSVP instructions, and other information are available on-line.
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