Posted on September 02, 2011 10:33 AM
CMAP Weekly Update, 9-2-11
Among today's highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, the GO TO 2040 local case study library is now available as an interactive map, CMAP board chairman Mayor Gerald Bennett of Palos Hills will discuss the agency's work on this week’s Comcast's Newsmakers program, and the upcoming LTA public meetings in Joliet and Elmwood Park. Subscribe to receive Weekly Updates by email.
Table of Contents
September meetings. The CMAP Board, Regional Coordinating Committee, and the Executive Committee are cancelled for September 14. The next Board meeting will be a combined meeting with the MPO Policy Committee on October 12, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. The Regional Coordinating Committee will meet prior to that meeting at 8:00 a.m.
GO TO 2040 case study library. Take a look at the first round of local case studies, available in an interactive map highlighting projects and people that exemplify the goals and objectives of GO TO 2040. For more information, contact Lindsay Banks (312-386-8826) or suggest a potential case study at http://bit.ly/NewCaseStudy.
FLIP deadline: Monday, September 12. In looking forward to the fourth year of CMAP's Future Leaders In Planning (FLIP), we still have spots open for this special program that engages high school students in contributing to a better future for our region. Any freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior in the CMAP region is eligible to apply. Please take a moment to email (or better yet, send Facebook messages to) high school students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors and principals. Encourage any outspoken, involved and/or proudly geeky high school students to apply. Students are asked to submit basic contact information, a short essay, and a recommendation letter from an adult.
Other News and Announcements
HUD Choice Neighborhoods. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative announced $122 million in grants for five cities to redevelop distressed housing and bring comprehensive neighborhood revitalization to blighted areas. The $30.5 million awarded to the City of Chicago and Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc., will target the Woodlawn community and complement the existing CMAP Local Technical Assistance project there.
CMAP in the news. CMAP board chairman Mayor Gerald Bennett of Palos Hills was interviewed for Comcast's Newsmakers program to discuss the agency's work. The segment will air on CNN Headline News at 24 and 54 minutes past the hour for a week beginning September 12. The University of California at Berkley's Institute of Governmental Studies recently wrote about an article CMAP's Amy Talbot wrote for the American Planning Association newsletter on why local food systems should be incorporated into regional planning.
Joliet and Elmwood Park LTA public meetings. The City of Joliet will kick off the work of creating a redevelopment plan for the Old Joliet Prison and U.S. Steel site with meetings to solicit public feedback on September 7 at Forest Park School (1220 California Avenue, Joliet) and September 8 at Sator Sanchez Elementary School (1101 Harrison Avenue, Joliet), both from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. The Village of Elmwood Park will do the same on September 15 at the village's Recreation Center Gym (2 Conti Parkway, Elmwood Park) from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. There will be Spanish and Polish translation services available.
Natural lawn care workshop. On October 13, the Lawn to Lake collaborative program invites landscape companies, turf managers, homeowner associations, and municipalities to a Natural Lawn Care and Sustainable Landscapes workshop. It is a great way to learn how to create and implement cost-effective sustainable landscaping programs in a community. The workshop will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the College of Lake County, Grayslake Campus (19351 W. Washington Street, Grayslake).
A4MC first round contest winners. On August 27, the first round of winners in the Apps for Metro Chicago (A4MC) were announced. The winning transportation app, SpotHero, links parking demand and supply, allowing parking spot owners to rent their spot while it's unoccupied. The competition's next round will focus on community-related apps. Read more at NBC Chicago and WGN Radio about the contest, of which CMAP is among a number of organizational partners.
Promoting bike safety. Call to Action: An Intervention on Bike Safety is the latest effort from Moving Design, a group of designers and artists that partner with nonprofits around local issues, to promote bike safety in Chicago. The project is based in Chicago's Logan Square, which is to serve as a model community for how other neighborhoods can improve their safety, cohesion, and quality of life. For the next month, art created to support this effort will be showcased on the weekends at Comfort Station (2579 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago).
Transit and livable communities. Journalist David Freudberg produced an interesting two-hour radio documentary on the impact public transit can have in fostering livable communities. The series discusses metropolitan Chicago's transit system in great detail, including interviews with former Chicago Transit Authority president Richard Rodriguez and Maria Choca-Urban of the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT).
Transit incentives. There is still time to take advantage of the Transit Ridership Improvement Program (TRIP), which provides cash to companies that encourage employees to buy transit fares (Metra, Pace, CTA) before their paychecks are taxed -- allowing staff to reduce their taxable income and save up to $400 a year without costing employers a dime. To sign up, visit http://lesstaxingcommute.com/employer/trip_overview.phpor email James Drew at CNT (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Policy Updates. The City of Chicago's TIF Reform Panel released its final report regarding the transparency, accountability, and efficiency of the City's Tax Increment Financing (TIF) program. We also wrote about "Budgeting for Results," a new state initiative to examine and prioritize budget funding in Illinois.
Soles and Spokes. CMAP’s bike-ped planning blog highlighted a new report by the League of American Bicyclists, which looks at the policies and programs of states that have used federal safety funds to reduce bicycle and pedestrian fatalities and crashes. We reported on a new FTA policy on eligibility requirements for bike and ped improvements in transit projects, and we also featured the new Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) webpage, where users can obtain information about requests to FHWA for changes, experiments, and interpretations related to the MUTCD.
Green Signals. CMAP’s transportation operations blog features an article and data on the operation of the Kennedy express lanes.
GEAR South. The Delta Institute and Mindful Metropolis will hold the Green Economy Roadshow (GEAR) South at Moraine Valley Community College on September 9 and 10. I will be the keynote speaker Friday morning for this two-day event, which is "designed to connect, transform, and empower green business, government, and lifestyles in different parts of the Great Lakes region." Mindful Metropolis magazine recently quoted me in a story about transportation alternatives and the upcoming GEAR event (on page 9).
CMAQ program public review. CMAP has released the proposed FY 2012 - FY 2016 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program for a 30-day public review and comment period. CMAP has developed a $400 million five-year program of CMAQ projects that improve air quality, mitigate congestion, and help to implement GO TO 2040. The proposed program is available for public comment through 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 3, 2011.
TIP Amendments. CMAP is seeking public comment on a conformity amendment to the FFY 2010-2015 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Comments are due by September 3, 2011, and can be provided in writing "ATTN: TIP amendments," e-mail, or phone 312-454-0400. Conformity is an analysis of projects in the TIP to ensure that transportation projects will help the region meet air quality goals. Review the cover memo and list of project changes at the TIP webpage.
HUD planning grants. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced this year’s Community Challenge Planning Grant Program. The program will award approximately $28.6 million in grants to support local projects, which may include amending or replacing local master plans, zoning codes, and building codes to promote mixed-use development, affordable housing, the reuse of older buildings and structures for new purposes, and similar activities with the goal of promoting sustainability at the local or neighborhood level. CMAP asks communities that apply to let us know by contacting Stephen Ostrander (email@example.com or 312-386-8696). Resources, including an archived webcast and FAQs, are now available on-line. Applications must be submitted through http://www.grants.gov/ by September 9, 2011.
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