Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, the Fairmont community receives Safe Routes to Schools funding for a sidewalk project, new Enery Impact Illinois webisodes featuring "The Energy Bills, updates and new on LTA projects in Fairmont, Joliet, and Lakemoor, a MetroPulse video shows how to make visualizations of presidential voting data, and public comments are due Friday, February 3 on air quality attainment. Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail.
Congratulations to Fairmont. This week, Governor Quinn announced Safe Routes to Schools funding, which includes $75,504 for a sidewalk project in the Fairmont community of Will County. Last year’s FLIP students helped to promote this project by constructing a model and working with local students and leaders to explore the importance of making sure that students have safe opportunities to walk to school. Those efforts, in turn, led to the CMAP Local Technical Assistance project in which Fairmont is now completing its first-ever neighborhood plan. Read more about that project below under "LTA in the news." Congratulations to Fairmont, Will County, and to our FLIP student leaders for working together to make this exciting project happen.
New EI2 webisodes. As part of the Energy Impact Illinois (EI2) alliance's mission, a current series of video webisodes features "The Energy Bills" in an informative yet entertaining look at how residents of northeastern Illinois can save energy and money by improving their home's efficiency. The second such video is highlighted at the policy blog of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) , which provided a $25 million grant to the CMAP-led alliance of utility companies, government agencies, and citizen advocacy groups working together to create a long-term market for improving the energy efficiency of the region's buildings.
Comment on amendments to Transportation Improvement Program. The CMAP Transportation Committee has released a conformity amendment to the FFY 2010-2015 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). This amendment is open to public comment for 30 days, from January 20 to February 20, 2012. Conformity analysis is part of the transportation modeling process that evaluates the impact of projects on air quality. On-road vehicle emissions are reviewed in certain years (currently 2016, 2020, 2030 and 2040) to determine that the region will reach national air quality goals. Please review the cover memo and list of conformity amendments. Comments mailed to CMAP, ATTN TIP amendments, 233 South Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606, or submitted by e-mail or phone (312-454-0400).
Other News and Announcements
LTA updates. 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. The second phase of development kicked-off on January 24 with Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) coordinated by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and attended by 90 people. This two-day panel generated a number of redevelopment opportunities for both sites. Community members also had the opportunity to speak with panelists and share their thoughts about the sites as well. An open house is planned for the early spring. On January 19, the Village of Lakemoor held their public kick off meeting for their new comprehensive plan. Thirty people came out on a cold January evening to participate in an interactive session to discuss the strengths and challenges this new plan should address.
LTA in the news. On January 30, 2012, CMAP and Will County will host a public open house to review the draft Fairmont Neighborhood Plan from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Shiloh Baptist Church. This week, the Joliet TribLocal previewed the upcoming meeting and CMAP's Trevor Dick is quoted. The existing conditions report for Fairmont is now available on-line.
CMAQ in the news. Evanston’s TribLocal covered how findings from a CTA Yellow Line feasibility study, engineering for which was funded through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement program, identified Asbury Avenue as the best location for a new station. Wheaton’s City Council will vote next month on a comprehensive, long-term bike plan. Wheaton received two CMAQ grants to fund 80 percent of the $225,000 project to implement the plan’s top three priorities of route signage, maps, and bike racks.
CATMUG meeting. On February 1, CMAP will host a special meeting for the Chicago Area Travel Model User Group (CATMUG) at our offices (233 South Wacker Drive, Chicago) from noon to 1:00 p.m. The meeting will feature Dr. Claus Doll, who will speak about his European Union-funded research on adapted Europe's transport system for the effects of climate change.
Grants writing workshop. From March 20 to 21, Grant Writing USA will partner with the Cook County Sherriff’s Police Training Academy to host a grant writing workshop (2000 North 5th Avenue, Building R, Room 304, River Grove, IL) from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The workshop will cover writing grant proposals and tracking relevant grant opportunities.
Two I-GO discounts available. Employers in Cook County can receive up to $1,700 in incentives by providing a pre-tax transit benefit program to their employees before February 10. Between now and February 29, 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, which seamlessly allows members to access CTA buses and trains and I-GO Car Sharing vehicles.
New energy savings program. The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Clean Air Counts campaign and Energy Choices have launched a new energy savings program through Intergys Energy Services. While customers still receive service and bills from ComEd, the program has a price match fixed rate at 6.2¢/kWh (compared to ComEd’s current rate of 7.753¢/kWh) and includes four energy-saving compact fluorescent lights bulbs.
Energy efficiency savings report. The Center for Neighborhood Technology - Energy and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy released a new report demonstrating how energy-efficiency upgrades in multifamily buildings could save building owners and residents up to $3.4 billion nationwide. "Engaging as Partners in Energy Efficiency: Multifamily Housing and Utilities" shows that energy use in multifamily buildings can be reduced substantially, and cost-effective upgrades can result in utility cost savings of 15 to 30 percent in buildings with five or more residential units. The key to unlocking the savings, the report finds, is for energy utilities and apartment building owners to work together more closely to develop effective energy efficiency policies. The report cites Illinois as among a handful of states that have a substantial number of multifamily buildings and energy policies that leave significant room for improvement.
Fact of the week. Based on the data from the 2010 American Community Survey, 33.3 percent of Chicago residents 25 and older held a bachelors degree or higher. Approximately 80 percent of respondents had a high school degree. Nationally, the respective figures were 28.2 percent and 85.6 percent.
Presidential voting data on MetroPulse. As the Republican primaries heat up, it’s interesting to take a look at some recent data on voter turnout in presidential elections across the CMAP region. The percent of the region’s voting age adults who voted in 2008 was 56 percent. That rate has increased in every county since 2000. Watch this video to see how you can make your own visualizations of voting data on MetroPulse.
Workers in the region. Comparing 2010 American Community Survey 5-year estimates with 2010 Census data shows that the number of workers age 16 and over increased in the region. The exception is DuPage County, which lost 2 percent of its workers. A separate analysis that breaks down total population by age group in DuPage County shows similar results -- nine of 16 age categories showed population decreases.
Chicago intermodal facility lift counts. CMAP recently compiled a regional summary of intermodal facility lift data provided by railroads for calendar year 2010. The summary also shows that, if Chicago were a seaport, our 2010 intermodal volume, 12.876 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), would rank us as the eighth largest port in the world, using information compiled by the Port of Rotterdam. For more information, see our Green Signals post.
MCIC. The Metro Chicago Information Center (MCIC) is set to close at the end of the year, according to the Chicago Tribune. MCIC has made valuable contributions over the years and has worked with us on many data-related projects over the years, including the Chicago Area Housing website, the Illinois Data Exchange Affiliates, Full Circle, and the Regional Indicators project.
Policy Updates. The Regional Infrastructure Improvement Zones Act was introduced last week in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would allow private businesses or individuals to contribute tax-deductible funds to support the construction or maintenance of public infrastructure, including transportation and water projects. We also wrote about a new report that investigates the impacts of suburban business density on walking behavior. In other news, the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is prepared to release the text of a five-year transportation reauthorization bill early next week.
Soles and Spokes. CMAP’s bike-ped planning blog highlighted a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study on the incidence rates of pedestrian and bicyclist crashes by hybrid electric vehicles, which run much more quietly than regular internal combustion engine cars. We also featured an international literature review from the U.K. covering the role of infrastructure in relation to the safety of cyclists and their interaction with other road users.
U.S. EPA comment deadline: 2/3.
The U.S. EPA comment period for the region's air quality attainment status has been extended to February 3
. Last week Crain's Chicago Business
covered the potential harm that our region faces regarding air quality and lost 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 air quality guidelines. 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. 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
. 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). 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:
Green and Healthy Neighborhoods planning meeting
January 28, 2012
9:00 a.m. to noon
AKARAMA Foundation Community Service Center: 6220 S. Ingleside Avenue, Chicago
Hosted by the City of Chicago, CMAP, and LISC Chicago
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
More information Chicago Area Travel Model User Group meeting
February 1, 2012
Noon to 1:00 p.m.
CMAP: 233 South Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago
Hosted by CMAP
More Information Village of Westchester planning meeting
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
February 7, 2012
3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Village Hall: 1200 LW Besinger Drive, Carpentersville
Hosted by the Village of Carpentersville and CMAP
More information Orland Park planning meeting
February 22, 2012
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Orland Park Public Library: 14921 Ravinia Avenue, Orland Park
Hosted by the Village of Orland Park and CMAP