Posted on December 23, 2011 9:58 AM
CMAP Weekly Update, 12-23-11
Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, CMAP's Policy Updates blog has the first in a series on innovative financing through public-private partnerships, air quality and transportation funding are in jeopardy due to a preliminary U.S. EPA ruling, and a plan for the Silver Creek and Sleepy Hollow Creek water shed. Subscribe
to get Weekly Updates by e-mail. XXXX
Table of Contents
To maintain, modernize, and expand the region’s transportation system, GO TO 2040 recommends
pursuing innovative finance mechanisms such as public-private partnerships (PPPs), which seek to provide a greater role for the private sector in the design, construction, and management of transportation facilities. The first entry
in a four-part series on PPPs was posted this week, showcasing new CMAP research on the topic. We also wrote about state and federal grants received by Fermilab
to support a new research facility.
Air quality attainment.
As we told you last week, 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. Among the many CMAQ projects that would lose funding is Pace’s $38.4 million express bus service along the Jane Addams Tollway as part of its upcoming reconstruction, which is identified as a high priority of GO TO 2040. 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 has begun with publication of a December 20 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
Other News and Announcements
CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program
is helping the Village of Westchester
develop a comprehensive plan. The Village and CMAP will host a kick-off public meeting on February 2 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Westchester Community Church. Watershed planning. TribLocal
covered a meeting where residents had the chance for input regarding the draft action plan for the Silver Creek and Sleepy Hollow Creek watershed, on which CMAP is collaborating with partners such as Illinois EPA and the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County. Union Station website.
The City of Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has created a website for its Union Station Master Plan
. In development for the past year, the plan is led by CDOT in collaboration with partners such as Amtrak and Metra. See the presentation
from an open house held on December 15, 2011. Millennium Reserve in the news.
This month, local, state, and federal officials announced
the Millennium Reserve project's Calumet Core phase to restore 15,000 acres of open space on the south side of Chicago and south suburban Cook County. The Atlantic's Cities blog
has a post on how just how big the project is -- it will be the largest urban park in the contiguous U.S. Important aspects of the Millennium Reserve initiative are enabled by federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program funds, more than $10 million of which CMAP has allocated to create a continuous bikeway from the Chicago Lakefront to Joliet. Diversity website and conference.
IDOT has launched Diversity Matters
, a new site to promote participation by minorities and women in the department's activities. On February 21-22, IDOT's Office of Business and Workforce Diversity will hold "Today's Challenge, Tomorrow's Reward," a conference
with networking opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses. Innovation and R&D.
The fourth edition of the Illinois Innovation Index newsletter
describes how research and development (R&D) funding for private and public organizations in Illinois can drive innovation. Crain’s Chicago Business covers
how Illinois universities are among the Midwest’s top recipients of research dollars. Urban forestry report.
ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability has a new report, "Urban Forests Create Vibrant Cities
," with 12 recommendations for how green infrastructure can improve built environments. Apps winners.
The Apps for Metro Chicago
contest has concluded with the announcement of winners
in its Grand Challenge round. IKE grant information meeting.
On January 11, 2012, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will host an informational meeting
on the Illinois “IKE” Disaster Recovery Program (IDRP)
Housing Repair/Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program at 1:00 p.m. in Springfield. Local governments are the only eligible applicants for the program, which assists homeowners who sustained significant damage from 2008 flooding. National transportation priorities.
The Eno Center for Transportation posted a though-provoking article from its December magazine, on the topic of "Considering the Federal Role in Metropolitan Transportation
." It raises a number of important issues, including the "geographic differences" that get in the way of proper and consistent federal transportation policy. As a nation and here in Illinois, we must do our best to set aside parochialism and pursue results-driven investments that are evaluated on the basis of their overall value to society, rather than boom-or-bust, winner vs. loser cycles of infrastructure spending.
Soles and Spokes.
CMAP’s bike-ped planning blog highlighted an article
in the journal Pediatrics
that evaluates the impacts a “walking school bus” program can have on children's rates of active commuting to school, physical activity, and overall health. We also featured a TRB Research Record
dedicated to bicycling and issues related to bikeways planning, engineering, and safety. Green Signals.
CMAP’s transportation operations blog highlighted a report on overcoming unique challenges to congestion reduction projects
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
. 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. GIS workshops.
CMAP offers a low-cost, introductory, hands-on ArcGIS 10 workshop
. The next available two-day sessions will be April 18 to 19 and May 30 to 31. Cost is $350 per person, which includes a manual. Please contact Jan Drennan (312-386-8686
) or David Clark (312-386-8682
2012 Illinois Development Council Metro Meeting
January 30, 2012
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
ComEd Commercial Center: 1919 Swift Drive, Oak Brook
Village of Westchester planning meeting
February 2, 2012
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Westchester Community Church
1840 Westchester Blvd, Westchester