Posted on March 04, 2011 4:18 PM
March 4, 2011
Table of Contents
CMAP meetings. The CMAP Board will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 9, 2011. At 8:00 a.m. that morning, both the Local and Regional Coordinating Committees will meet. This will mark the first meeting of the refocused coordinating committees. And on Thursday, March 10, the MPO Policy Committee will meet in our offices. All materials can be found by clicking on the respective links.
SAFETEA-LU. On March 3, 2011, the U.S. Senate passed HR 662, which the House of Representatives had passed on March 2 as a seventh extension of SAFETEA-LU programs. In effect until the current federal fiscal year ends on September 30, the bill averted a shutdown of Highway Trust Fund programs. This extension allows Congress to avoid having to pass short-term extensions this spring and summer as legislators seek to pass a new surface transportation authorization.
Other News and Announcements
Metropolis Strategies. Two of our best partners and supporters have joined forces, as Chicago Metropolis 2020 has become Metropolis Strategies, a supporting organization of The Chicago Community Trust. We wish them all the best and look forward to continued collaboration in service of the region and its communities.
RMAP. Last Saturday I spent an enjoyable morning in Rockford at a sustainability summit hosted by our friends at the Rockford Metropolitan Agency for Planning. This was a diverse crowd made up mainly of non-planners who are keenly interested in how they can build on some of our region’s innovations, including GO TO 2040. I was likewise inspired by their efforts, which are supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the federal Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI).
More SCI. As you may have heard, continued support by the new Congress for SCI is under debate. For anyone who might be concerned, I can assure you that our funding through HUD is not in question. We are well underway towards implementing our technical assistance program and will announce our first round of staff assistance next week. That said, we certainly support continuation of the federal sustainability initiative as a model for federal-regional cooperation.
CR3 becomes CRIBB. Partly to reflect the U.S. Department of Energy’s change of its former Retrofit Ramp-up program to the current Better Buildings program, our region’s consortium has a new name, too: The Chicago Region Initiative for Better Buildings (CRIBB). Read about the CMAP-led team’s recent successes, including retrofits enabled by the creation of a multi-family loan loss reserve fund managed for CRIBB the Community Investment Corporation (CIC) and CNT Energy.
Minority census figures. On Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune had a front-page story titled, "More minorities moving to suburbs." It is a fairly even-handed look at a complex subject that the recent 2010 Census numbers don't fully illuminate. The web version has an interactive map showing racial distribution across the region.
Legislation change. In February, Governor Quinn signed Senate Bill 3778 to amend the RTA Act allowing low-income seniors, aged 65 or older, to continue riding on fixed-route service operated by the CTA, Metra, and Pace. Under the new program, which will be implemented in the next six months, all other seniors will ride at a reduced fair. All seniors must be registered in the Illinois Department of Aging’s Circuit Breaker Program with the new program.
GO TO 2040 talk. On March 10, I will speak at a meeting of the Harvard Business School Club. This event is open to non-members who register on-line, and seating is limited. The presentation will take place from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. at Max & Benny’s in Northbrook’s Brookside Shopping Center.
Green design event. The DePaul University Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development will host a symposium, "'Greening' of Design Review," on Thursday, March 10, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Alan Bombick of the LEGAT architectural and sustainable design firm will lead a discussion about incorporating green technology into aesthetically appealing designs, and Village of Schaumburg senior planner Tom Farace will provide a municipal perspective. The location is DePaul's Loop Campus at 14 E. Jackson Blvd, Suite 1600 in Chicago (at the new Richard M. and Maggie C. Daley building). Space is limited for this free event, so contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-362-5731 to register by March 7.
Natural lawn care workshop. Interested in transitioning your parks and municipal properties away from conventional lawn care? Come to a one-day workshop on Natural Lawn Care on March 23 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Illinois. Natural lawn care emphasizes building healthy soil, encouraging soil biology, selecting the right grass, watering properly, and managing pests naturally. Workshop participants will be able to choose from two specialized topic areas: “Implementing Natural Lawn Care on Your Property” or “Running a Natural Lawn Care Business.” A complete agenda, presenter biographies and registration materials are available on-line.
Sustainable Schools Symposium. On April 1, the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council and Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences will host the third annual K-12 Schools Symposium. Learn more and register on-line.
Resource Fair and Business Expo. On April 7, the Economic Development Council for the Southwest Suburbs at Moraine Valley Community College will host a fair/expo to share information and funding opportunities for businesses available from a range of government and non-profit agencies. Speakers include Warren Ribley, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director, and Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President. For more information, contact 708-974-5690 or email@example.com.
Policy Updates. CMAP’s policy blog highlighted an article on federal infrastructure policy by John McCarron for Planning magazine, as well as a new interactive map by the Chicago Tribune on population shifts in the region between 2000 and 2010
Green Signals. This week, CMAP’s transportation operations blog highlighted a new red-light camera system that predicts and prevents vehicle accidents resulting from drivers running red lights. We also linked to a new report on the effectiveness of zig-zag pavement markings painted on streets to increase motorist awareness of upcoming bicycle and pedestrian trails.
Soles and Spokes. This week, CMAP’s bike-ped planning blog alerted readers to new guidance from the U.S. DOT Federal Railroad Administration Office of Railroad Safety concerning pedestrian safety at and near rail stations. We also announced the Surface Transportation Board’s initiation of proceedings to make changes to the National Trails System Act’s “railbanking” regulations and procedures. Comments will be accepted until April 12. Finally, we offered some local news on the approval of the Chicago Lakefront Trail’s Navy Pier Flyover by the Chicago Plan Commission. The Flyover is funded in part by our CMAQ program.
GO TO 2040 series at MPC. For those who couldn't make it to the February 18 GO TO 2040 roundtable hosted by the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), "We Have a Plan. Who's With Us?", a summary of the event is now available on-line. The next forum in the series, "We Have a Plan. What Do We Need?", will be held on March 25 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the MPC Conference Center 140 S. Dearborn, Suite 1400 Chicago, Illinois 60603.
CMAP Planning Commissioner Workshops. Our re-designed and updated workshops give local volunteer planning commission members a chance to learn about their roles, Illinois planning law (in easy-to-understand terms), and the content/purpose of comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances. Details about workshop locations, dates, agendas, and registration are available on-line. For more information, contact Joey-Lin Silberhorn (312-386-8814 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Subscribe to receive Weekly Updates via email.