Posted on September 04, 2009 4:00 AM
CMAP Economic Recovery Update, 9-4-09
CMAP meetings. At 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, September 9, 2009, the CMAP Board will meet. Click here for Board meeting materials. Prior to the Board, CMAP's Planning and Programming Coordinating Committees will meet concurrently at 8:00 a.m. See our recently improved events calendar for links to those committees' materials.
Invent the Future's final week. Next week will be the last in our Invent the Future phase of public input for the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan. The final workshop of 57 that we've convened across the region will be co-hosted by Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th Ward) at Crerar Presbyterian Church, 8100 S. Calumet Ave., Chicago, on Thursday, September 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Through that date, you can still use our MetroQuest tools to weigh in at www.goto2040.org. Click here for a preliminary summary of the public engagement results. After this phase ends, there will still be ample opportunities for stakeholders and the public to stay involved through completion of the plan in the fall of 2010.
GO TO 2040 in the news. The Southtown Star's Gina Kenny wrote about our Invent the Future workshop that was held last week in Palos Hills.
IRTBA conference. Yesterday I spoke at the "Future of Multi-modal Transportation" conference, hosted by the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association. USDOT secretary Ray LaHood gave a keynote talk just before me, and he was preceded by IDOT secretary Gary Hannig and Division of Highways director Christine Reed. This was a good opportunity to apprise the audience -- made up mostly of senior engineers -- of the progress we're making with the GO TO 2040 plan, and how the region could look in 30 years, with shifting emphases in the transportation system and development patterns. Maybe not surprisingly given yesterday's news coverage of the Olympics, every audience question directed to me was about the Chicago 2016 bid.
IOC releases 2016 evaluation. On Wednesday, the International Olympic Committee released a report on each of the candidate cities. Although the report detailed some concerns regarding the Chicago 2016 bid, including finances and transportation, the IOC did tout the lakefront (in fact mentioning Daniel Burnham’s 1909 plan) as a unique asset for Chicago. While the transportation issues identified were not a surprise, the report does outline the work that needs to be done to ensure an efficient movement of both our residents and guests during the Games. The host city will be announced on October 2. You can vote for your favorite candidate city in an online poll at Inside the Games, an Olympics trade magazine.
Freight survey. CMAP continues to seek transportation, freight, economic development, land development professionals and other parties interested and engaged in the region's freight system to participate in an online survey. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. Results will be used in developing the final set of freight-related recommendations. You can find the survey here. CMAP and our consultants are also seeking feedback on a draft framework, policy bundles, and freight performance measures. To review these and for more information about the Regional Freight System Planning Recommendations Project, visit www.cmap.illinois.gov/freight-system-planning.
Full Circle website. CMAP has unveiled a new website for the Full Circle Community Mapping and Planning project. The new website, which represents a complete design overhaul of the old website, contains general information about the Full Circle project, case studies, tutorials, map gallery and an interactive form that the public can use to submit requests for maps and information from CMAP. The new URL is www.cmap.illinois.gov/full-circle. Please visit the new look website to learn more about the Full Circle project or contact Sef Okoth at 312-386-8729.
Water conservation workshop. Yesterday more than 40 people attended our Evaluating Water Conservation workshop, co-hosted by CMAP, the Alliance for Water Efficiency, and the City of Chicago Department of Water Management. The workshop centered on a tool that will help public water suppliers evaluate the benefits/costs of various conservation measures. It also provides a tracking tool for water saved and can aid in the comparison of returns on investment in demand management versus the more traditional investment in supply augmentation. The tool is free to those who are members of the Alliance for Water Efficiency. For more, contact Tim Loftus (312-386-8666 or email@example.com).
Commuter Benefits for a Better Chicago. The Center for Neighborhood Technology will host a breakfast roundtable for employers on September 14 at the Omni Hotel in Chicago about a federal tax law that they can offer that will provide tax savings for employees and offer a greener way to commute. Click here to RSVP.
Chicago, sped up. This collection of timelapse videos of Chicago is really something.
Foreclosure laws helping. The Woodstock Institute says that new laws are helping home owners avoid foreclosure. The Homeowner Protection Act (S.B. 2513) prohibits lenders from proceeding with any new foreclosure action until at least 30 days after notifying the defaulting homeowner of their right to seek HUD-certified housing counseling. The federal Home Affordable Modification Program gives incentives to lenders and borrowers who want to modify their loans. Woodstock reports that Chicago region foreclosure filings dropped sharply in the first half of 2009 from the first to second quarter. This drop is a reflection of the extra help that these new laws are providing to struggling homeowners.
Chicago Wilderness service day. CW's Corporate Council Day of Service brings volunteers from across the region together at various sites to collect seed, plant plugs and trees, remove litter, and other activities to protect and restore local nature. Visit www.chicagowilderness.org/dayofservice.php for details, including a map of sites. Registration is requested by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (include your name, contact information, and choice of site), or use the fax form. The CW contact is Patricia Cassady at email@example.com or 630-829-1142.
Recovery blog. At our recovery blog this week, we posted an update on all the great collaborative work the Regional ARRA Coordinating Council has been doing, with a focus on information sharing, the creation of a workforce development strategy and work on the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. We also posted a link to a survey the Council created for those who have received or hope to receive stimulus funds. The survey will help the Council to identify areas where assistance is needed and to find pathways for collaboration. See the survey here. Also, we blogged about new maps on Recovery.gov to track the stimulus and about two Chicago companies who applied for Smart Grid stimulus funds.
Stimulus in the news. More stimulus money is coming to Illinois, this time in the form of renewable energy grants. Iberdrola Renewables was awarded almost $300 million for new wind projects in Oregon, Arizona, Texas, and Illinois, according to NPR. The stimulus has created or saved 77,470 construction jobs, according to Reuters, with Illinois accounting for almost a fifth of the total by creating or saving 15,388 jobs. In other news, Illinois was awarded $200 million in stimulus funds for additional Unemployment Insurance. This will extend the Extended Benefit program from 13 weeks to 20 weeks. And government-backed loans to small Chicago-area firms have been jump-started by stimulus incentives, according to Chicago Business.
In the GO TO 2040 blog. We featured a vibrant picture from the 18th Street "L" stop for our Monday Flickr Photo. The Metropolitan Planning Council’s Karin Sommer also wrote a guest post about their "What Makes Your Place Great?" photo contest.