Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, CMAP's state and federal legislative frameworks and agendas are now available, a new section that will feature news on how to access and provide data, upcoming LTA meetings in Joliet and Chicago, the debut of CTA's Train Tracker, a developers' info session for Quad Cities multi-modal station, and public comments are due January 19 on air quality attainment. Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail.
CMAP meetings. Both the CMAP Board and the MPO Policy Committee met individually this week and discussed a number of the same agenda items. Staff presented the State Legislative Framework and Agenda as well as the Federal Legislative Agenda. These documents, approved by the CMAP Board, will help guide staff and inform our partners, elected officials, state and federal agency directors, and others about CMAP’s policy positions, in addition to helping staff react to pending legislation. Both boards also heard a presentation on Performance Based Evaluation Criteria and Transportation Funding and discussed ways to move towards this in programming transportation funds throughout the state. The CMAP Board directed staff to send a letter, along with that memo, to IDOT and RTA requesting to work cooperatively with IDOT and the RTA to implement a new performance-based funding system. The MPO Policy Committee had a number of comments that will be incorporated into the next version of the memo and agreed that this process should move forward. Also, it is Unified Work Program (UWP) season again, so both boards were updated on the process for developing next year’s UWP.
Finally, the MPO Policy Committee heard presentations from the City of Chicago, RTA, Pace, and the Tollway on a number of BRT initiatives that are underway across the region. The CMAP Board’s next meeting is February 8, at 9:30 a.m. and the MPO Policy Committee’s next meeting is March 8, at 10:00 a.m.
Other News and Announcements
Upcoming LTA meetings. CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program is helping the City of Joliet create a redevelopment plan for the former state correctional center and Iron and Steel Works sites. As part of a two-day panel, the City, ULI, and CMAP will host a community reception on January 24 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Joliet Historical Museum (204 N. Ottawa Street, Joliet). CMAP is also working with the City of Chicago to develop a Green and Healthy Neighborhoods plan for Englewood, Woodlawn, and Washington Park. The City and CMAP will host a public meeting on January 28 from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the AKARAMA Foundation Community Service Center (6220 S. Ingleside Avenue, Chicago).
CMAP media tip sheet. Our latest tip sheet for reporters includes information on the potential loss of transportation funding our region faces based on its attainment status, encouraging transportation indicators from 2006 to 2010 American Community Survey data, our Policy Updates series on public-private partnerships and transportation, upcoming Local Technical Assistance program meetings, and the Millennium Reserve project.
Union Station plan. Comments are still being accepted on the proposed master plan for Union Station. The project website has a new page about the station's history.
CTA train tracker. The Chicago Transit Authority updated its Train Tracker this week. Read more in the Chicago Tribune.
Metra STAR Line public meeting. On January 19, Metra will host the final meeting for the Metra STAR Line Alternatives Analysis (AA) at Arlington Heights Village Hall (33 S. Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights) from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The meeting is an opportunity for the public to provide feedback on the proposed Long-Term Vision identified in the STAR Line AA study.
Quad Cities multi-modal station info session. On January 20, there will be an information session for developers on the Quad Cities Multi-Modal Station on John Deere Commons at CMAP's offices from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. Register on-line.
This week we introduce a new Weekly Update section with news you can use in your efforts to access and provide data. Though many of these items will have a MetroPulse flavor, we're also interested in your input. Please send suggestions to Justine Reisinger (email@example.com).
R.I.P. American Fact Finder 1. On Friday, January 20, the Census Bureau’s original web interface for data download will go offline. American Fact Finder 2 will replace it. This is a great time to make the switch from Fact Finder to MetroPulse. Watch this video to see how you can save time making grids, charts, and maps using MetroPulse.
Fact of the Week. Between 2005 and 2009, DuPage County had the highest percentage of population aged 25 years or older with at least an associate degree (51.4 percent).
Policy Updates. Illinois is among 14 states that have not increased their gas tax in the last 20 years, according to a new report from the nonprofit, non-partisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) entitled Building a Better Gas Tax: How to Fix One of State Government’s Least Sustainable Revenue Sources. The report is the first of its kind to examine the impacts of every state’s gas tax rates.
Soles and Spokes. This week, CMAP’s bike-ped planning blog announced CDOT’s upcoming public meetings and webinars to receive citizens’ input for the development of their “Streets for Cycling Plan 2020,” (which received CMAQ funding). We also announced the upcoming APBP webinar on “Emerging Technologies for Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning.” Finally, we featured the new educational videos on the City of Chicago’s Bicycle Program webpage.
Public comments due 1/19 on air quality attainment. Our region faces harm to its air quality and a significant loss of federal transportation funding if the U.S. EPA follows through on its intention to ignore current, certified 2011 data and rule that northeastern Illinois is "in attainment" with the agency's 2008 guidelines for air quality. We urge you to contact U.S. EPA and members of Congress, calling on the federal regulators to consider the up-to-date 2011 data, which clearly indicate our region has actually not attained the 2008 air standards. The U.S. EPA comment period will end January 19. See the notice in the Federal Register (marked as "40 CFR Part 81"), which includes details of how to make your views known. Read more in a CMAP Policy Update.
CDOT Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 public meetings. The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is holding a series of meetings and webinars throughout Chicago to receive input on the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020. The meetings flyer is also available in Spanish. Meetings/webinars include:
- January 18, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Garfield Park Conservatory, Jensen Room, 300 N. Central Park Avenue.
- January 25, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Woodson Regional Library, Auditorium, 9525 S. Halsted Street.
- February 1, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln Avenue.
- February 3 webinar, noon to 1:00 p.m. Reserve a webinar seat.
- February 6 webinar, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Reserve a webinar seat.
EcoSummit 2012. Abstracts should be submitted on-line by January 20, 2012, for poster and oral presentations at the international EcoSummit 2012, to be held in Columbus, Ohio, September 30 through October 5. The international summit plans to "bring together the world's most respected minds in ecological science to discuss restoring the planet's ecosystems."
Case study library. CMAP has created a web database of completed local projects that reflect recommendations of the GO TO 2040 plan. If you know of an exemplary project that should be included, please contact Lindsay Banks (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8826).
Emerald Ash Borer management grants DUE NEXT WEEK. 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.
Village of Lakemoor planning meeting
January 19, 2012
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Lakemoor Public Works: 333 Wegner Road, Lakemoor
Hosted by the Village of Lakemoor and CMAP
January 30, 2012
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
ComEd Commercial Center: 1919 Swift Drive, Oak Brook
January 30, 2012
5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Shiloh Baptist Church: 18101 Oak Avenue, Lockport
Hosted by Will County and CMAP
February 2, 2012
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Westchester Community Church: 1840 Westchester Boulevard, Westchester
Hosted by the Village of Westchester and CMAP