Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, analysis of the U.S. EPA preliminary ruling on northeastern Illinois' air quality attainment, the release of Planning Locally for Livability video, news on the New Lenox LTA grant, the Apps for Metro Chicago contest announces winners, and the Water 2050 Update for December. Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail. xxxx
Air quality attainment. The U.S. EPA has preliminarily ruled that northeastern Illinois is "in attainment" with the agency's 2008 guidelines for air quality. While that might seem to be good news, CMAP is concerned because U.S. EPA has disregarded up-to-date 2011 data -- certified by the Illinois EPA -- that shows our region has in fact not attained this standard. The potential negative results include a loss of approximately $90 million annually in federal CMAQ transportation dollars and a likely move to weaken our state's environmental regulations, as is already happening in Indiana (which is part of the same U.S. EPA region that includes ours). A public comment period on the preliminary designation will begin shortly, and we urge you to contact U.S. EPA and members of Congress to urge that the 2011 data be included in these assessment. Read more in a new CMAP Policy Update.
Planning Locally for Livability video. CMAP has released "Planning Locally for Livability," which highlights the benefits of comprehensive planning by municipalities. The video focuses on comprehensive plans in development by Blue Island and Campton Hills, and on the sustainability plan prepared by Park Forest. These projects benefit from CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program.
MAP-21. Shortly after a series of Wednesday morning presentations to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, we posted a Policy Update describing these and other developments related to draft transportation legislation known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21).
Other News and Announcements
TIGER III awards. Our region received $20 million for CTA Blue Line and Chicago Bike Share and $10.4 million for IL-83 reconstruction in the near south suburbs through the U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER III grant competition. See the State of Illinois press release, and read more from Crain's Chicago Business, the Chicago Tribune, ABC Channel 7, and NBC Channel 5.
Millennium Reserve. Last week's announcement garnered a fair amount of media coverage, including WBEZ and the Tribune.
Union Station master plan. The Tribune also covered this week's open house where the public gave input on the Union Station master plan.
LTA in the news. Michael Sewall of New Lenox Patch describes that village's grant from CMAP to support planning for improvements to make the community and Route 30 more walkable.
Apps winners. Today the Apps for Metro Chicago contest will conclude with the announcement of winners in the final Grand Challenge round. The 20 finalists include tools that let residents find parking spots, discover bicycle trails, track bus and train arrivals, and a number of other apps. Also, check out the What’s Driving Costing You app that leverages MetroPulse data.
Media tip sheet. Our latest tip sheet for reporters summarizes the Planning Locally for Livability video, analysis of the MAP-21 highway reauthorization bill on the Policy Updates blog, the debut of Energy Impact Illinois webisodes and pledge, and more.
Little Bill and Big Bill tackle heating efficiency. A couple weeks ago, we introduced you to a new Web Series by Energy Impact Illinois, featuring Big Bill and Little Bill tackling home energy efficiency improvements. In episode two of this educational series, the Bills team up with an energy expert to learn how to most efficiently heat a home and reap the savings. You can watch it now at www.youtube.com/theenergybills
Annual metro regional meeting. On January 30, 2012, the Illinois Development Council will host the annual Metro Regional Meeting at the ComEd Educational Center in Oak Brook, IL. This year's program will focus on Workforce Development and feature three panel discussions. For more information about the regional meeting or to register, please visit the Illinois Development Council website at www.ildevelopmentcouncil.org.
Water 2050 Update. Among numerous topics, our water newsletter describes the completion of several CMAP-led watershed plans, our agency's participation in Lake Zurich water planning assistance led by the Metropolitan Planning Council, and investments in water infrastructure consistent with the Water 2050 regional water supply/demand plan.
Soles and Spokes. This week, CMAP’s bike-ped planning blog reported on the U.S. Access Board’s reopening of the comment period for the proposed Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG). We announced the achievement of the goal of 1,500 reservations for the Illinois "Share the Road" license plate, which was needed in order to begin production of the plates. And finally, we alerted readers to the release of the results of America Walks’ national survey on walking.
Green Signals. CMAP’s transportation operations blog told readers about an upcoming organizational management for signal systems webinar.
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."
RFP: Community-Based Sustainable Development. The Chicago Community Trust is seeking proposals through January 5, 2012, for Community-Based Sustainable Development. Up to ten communities will be selected to serve as regional models of sustainable development with full engagement of their community residents. Among other evaluation criteria, proposals should be aligned with the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan and livability principles. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations and local governments located within and/or primarily serving residents of Cook County.
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).