Posted on October 28, 2011 3:44 PM
CMAP Weekly Update, 10-28-11
Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, the latest Policy Updates blog posts have analysis of trends in homeownership rates and the final installment in the series on visualizing modern boulevards, news on LTA meetings and projects in Lake Zurich and Elburn, a new tool for real-time traffic information and a progress report on Chicago food deserts. Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail.
Table of Contents
Policy Updates. Changes in the rates of vacancy and homeownership often coincide and can have significant impacts on communities. A new blog entry analyzes trends in homeownership rates in the region using Census 2010 data. The second installment in our series visualizing modern boulevards came out this week, highlighting case studies from Kentucky, Colorado, and Indiana. We also wrote about recent action taken by Evanston Township trustees to potentially dissolve the township, transferring duties to the City of Evanston.
Other News and Announcements
LTA in the news. The City of Berwyn will host a public community meeting to discuss the development of comprehensive plan at the Berwyn Police Department (6401 W. 31st Street) on November 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. In other LTA news, the Lake Zurich Patch wrote about a forum to discuss the future of the Lake Zurich’s water supply and the Elburn Herald wrote about the Village of Elburn receiving a $100,000 grant from CMAP to update the village’s comprehensive land use plan.
AMPO post. Congratulations to Don Kopec, CMAP deputy executive director of planning and programming, who was elected this week to serve also as the new vice president of the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations.
Chicago food desert progress report. A newly released report shows a 40 percent reduction in food deserts within the city of Chicago over the past five years. Compared to data in the 2006 report "Examining the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in Chicago," fewer families are food insecure. However, the new report emphasizes that work remains to be done -- it says there are still enough children living in food deserts to fill 2,484 school buses. Promoting sustainable local food is one of GO TO 2040’s recommendations, and CMAP has produced a local food chapter outline to guide municipal planners through the process of incorporating local food into a comprehensive plan.
Lake County roundabouts. With CMAQ funding, the second and third modern roundabouts on the Lake County highway system have just been opened at the intersection of two east-west county highways -- Milburn Rd. and Wadsworth Rd., which "T" into Hunt Club Rd about a half mile apart in the Village of Old Mill Creek. These intersections were three-way stop controlled intersections causing long backups and unnecessary air pollution. Roundabouts allow a nearly continuous flow of vehicles through the intersection without requiring anyone to stop. Although efficient traffic flow is important, the county’s main priority and concern is safety. Visit Lake County’s roundabout page for more.
Chicago Traffic Tracker. The Chicago Department of Transportation has launched the beta version of Chicago Traffic Tracker. The new tool provides real-time traffic information. Users can customize searches for specific intersections and landmarks, then select map options that include pedestrian and traffic counts, as well as information on arterial traffic.
Freight planning. The Transportation Research Board (TRB) recently released “Freight Facility Location Selection: A Guide for Public Officials.” This resource for local planning officials identifies some of the primary criteria industrial/commercial real estate firms consider when building new distribution-related facilities. A number of the factors are transportation-related, but many other factors are not. The publication helps explain where freight facilities are located and why.
DEA events. Tomorrow, October 29, is the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Take-Back Day for Medications. You can search the DEA site for a location near you to drop off unneeded medicines and related items that can cause ecological harm when flushed down toilets or thrown in the trash. Thanks to McHenry County for the heads-up about this initiative.
Blog archives. If you ever wonder what was happening at CMAP in, say, October 2007, you can now browse monthly archives of the Weekly Update. (Today's is the 210th edition, by the way.) You can also browse monthly archives of our Policy Updates, which are rapidly gaining ground with 96 posts in less than one year.
Green Signals. CMAP’s transportation operations blog informed readers of the upcoming webinar on practitioners experiences with regional transportation operation.
Soles and Spokes. CMAP’s bike-ped planning blog announced the National Center for Safe Routes to School’s call for applications for the 2011 James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award. We also highlighted the Caltrans new policy and design guide, Complete Intersections: A Guide to Reconstructing Intersections and Interchanges for Bicyclists and Pedestrians, which is a valuable resource for agencies involved in implementing Complete Streets in our region. Finally, we announced a TRB request for proposals to study the relationships between pedestrian safety and crossing treatments at uncontrolled locations.
Carpentersville planning charette. CMAP is looking for professional planners, architects, and others to participate in a planning charrette on Wednesday, November 16, for the Village of Carpentersville, which is developing a comprehensive plan for its Old Town area through our LTA program. For more details or to RSVP by November 4, contact Erin Aleman (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8816). Transportation and lunch will be provided for the event, for which space is limited.