Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, the U.S. EPA reconsiders its preliminary ruling on the region's air quality attainment status, new Policy Updates on transportation reauthorization, the Village of Orland Park will kick off the development of new water conservation code, APA blog highlights CMAP's Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP) program, the launch of the TIP dashboard, and a reminder to submit comments on a TIP conformity ammendment. Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail.
The CMAP Board
will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 8, 2012. At 8:00 a.m. that morning, both the Local
Coordinating Committees will meet. All materials can be found by clicking on the respective links.
U.S. EPA ruling on air quality. Transportation reauthorization updates.
A big thank you to all who submitted comments urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its preliminary ruling on our region's status regarding federal air quality standards. This week the U.S. EPA sent a letter to Governor Quinn
stating that 2011 data certified by our state would be considered, and that the data shows our region is not "in attainment" with the federal air standards. See a press release
from Sen. Durbin on behalf of our congressional delegation, which included support from Sen. Kirk and Representatives Dold, Jackson, Lipinski, Quigley, and Schakowsky. The result is that about $90 million in annual federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program funds will continue to support vital transportation projects in our region. The ruling of non-attainment should help to ensure that northeast Illinois, northwest Indiana, and southeast Wisconsin will continue to pursue cleaner air rather than to relax such standards.
The U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has released its transportation reauthorization bill, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act (AEIJA)
, which was marked up in committee on Thursday, February 2. AEIJA would provide $260 billion over 4.5 years to highway, transit, safety, and other transportation programs. On February 3, the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee marked up a bill containing the financing components
of AEIJA. The House reauthorization bill would rely in part on revenues from expanded domestic energy production
and a $40 billion transfer from general revenues. In related news, the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee has released its transit reauthorization bill
, which will later be combined with the larger Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) bill. The Senate Banking bill was also marked up on February 2. The release of the Senate transit bill came shortly after the Federal Transit Administration issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to reform the New Starts grant program
Other News and Announcements
On January 30, Will County held the final public meeting for development of the Fairmont Neighborhood Plan
. Nearly 60 residents attended. Read more about the plan in an article from the Times Weekly
. The Village of Orland Park
is kicking off work to develop a new water conservation code on February 22 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Orland Park Public Library. The Southtown Star covered
the new “Homes for a Changing Region
” policy plans for the south Cook communities of Hazel Crest, Lansing, Olympia Fields, and Park Forest. These plans
give analysis and recommendations for future housing demands and supply trends. The newspaper also wrote about community gardening
efforts in Park Forest, an outgrowth of the LTA-supported sustainability plan
in progress. U.S. EPA technical assistance program.
This week, U.S. EPA announced their Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities
program to provide technical planning assistance to 56 communities nationally. Seven of these are in our region, and all are linked to CMAP’s LTA program
. Three involve Hazel Crest, Lansing, and Olympia Fields, building on their recently completed Homes for a Changing Region
project. Two projects in Campton Hills and Lakemoor will complement ongoing LTA activities, and two others in Niles and Round Lake Heights will be used to kick off LTA work this spring.
Regional construction coordinating meeting.
The 2012 Northeastern Illinois Construction Coordination Meeting
and Great Lakes Regional Transportation Operations Coalition
work zone review took place on February 1 at CMAP. All project implementers are encouraged to provide construction information for the Gateway Traveler Information website, TravelMidwest.com
, to help improve work zone safety by steering traffic away from construction zones. Shared information can be distributed in real time to the public
, as well as to commercial vehicle operators in detailed Truckers Reports
. Information should be emailed to the Gateway Traveler Information System Operator
. APA highlights FLIP.
In November, students in CMAP’s Future Leaders In Planning (FLIP)
were invited by the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana
to give input into how the organization might improve its Journey World
facility based on concepts in GO TO 2040. The November session was highlighted American PlanningAssociation Kid’s Planning Toolbox
blog. Illinois State Rail plan meetings.
From February 22 to March 15, 2012, the Illinois State Rail will host public information meetings
throughout the state. The first meeting will be at CMAP (233 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago) from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. For pre-registration, contact Ingrid Witherspoon at 312-454-0440.
Transportation Enhancement Program.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced
it is seeking proposals for the 2012 Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP). Approximately $50 million is available for projects. The application form and guidelines will be available at www.dot.il.gov/opp/itep.html
starting February 1, 2012, with proposals accepted through May 29, 2012.
The U.S. Department of Transportation posted the Interim Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)
for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program for 2012. Affordable housing report.
The Center for Neighborhood Technology has released "Safe, Decent, and Affordable
," an analysis of affordable housing developments financed by the Illinois Housing Development Authority and their associated transportation costs -- analysis found that some multifamily units were not as affordable after transportation costs were considered.
ComEd business incentives. ComEd has an extension portfolio of energy efficiency programs designed to save businesses money on their electric bills while helping the environment. There are still nearly $14 million in incentives remaining in the current program year budget. During the first three years of the programs, ComEd has awarded over $46 million in incentives to more than 5,500 projects.
TIP Dashboard. The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) has launched a new dashboard to summarize current TIP projects, as well as projects that will be programmed if funds become available. Projects are displayed by major improvement category (e.g. Highway, Transit, Bicycle, Pedestrian, Other, and Mixed). Instructions for using the dashboard or the TIP map are available on-line. Send feedback on this dashboard to Patricia Berry (312-386-8742 or email@example.com).
Fact of the week. In honor of African American History Month, we decided to examine related Census statistics. In the 2010 Census, 42 million people were identified as African-American, either alone or in combination with one or more other races. They made up 13.6 percent of the total U.S. population. In metropolitan Chicago , Cook County had the highest percentage African-American population (25.6 percent), while McHenry County had the lowest (1.5 percent). For related information, see this post from the Chicago Data Guy blog.
MetroPulse in the news. AllAnalytics interviewed CMAP's Greg Sanders on how MetroPulse indicators help us track GO TO 2040’s targets and goals. MetroPulse is also included in AllAnalytics “Five Cool Analytics Projects” slideshow.
Policy Updates. The CREATE Program released its 2011 Year in Review newsletter, which highlights new modeling data, information on completed and on-going projects, public input received by partners of select projects, and other project updates.We also wrote about Governor Quinn’s State of the State address.
Green Signals. CMAP’s transportation operations blog highlighted a free on-line Intelligent Transportation Systems Standards training.
Soles and Spokes. CMAP’s bike-ped planning blog announced a webinar highlighting Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) projects and programs from around the country that have succeeded in reducing traffic congestion. The webinar was presented by America Walks and the National Center for SRTS as part of their SRTS Action Network Webinar Series. Our blog also announced -- and commended -- the recent approval by the Cook County Board of a Complete Streets Ordinance, which strengthens the County's commitment to creating streets that are safe and convenient for all users, regardless of their mode of travel.
Comment on TIP amendments. 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).
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.
CDOT Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 final webinar. The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is holding its final webinar to receive input on the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 on February 6 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Village of Carpentersville open house
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
More information Grant Writing Class
March 20 to 21, 2012
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Cook County Sheriff's Policy Training Academy: 2000 N. 5th Avenue, Building R, Room 304, River Grove
Hosted by Grant Writing USA