Posted on October 02, 2009 2:10 AM
Weekly Update, 10-2-09
Transportation bill and rescissions. Unfortunately, yesterday's start of the federal fiscal year came and went without a repeal by Congress of the $8.7 billion rescission that took effect with the end of the 2009 fiscal year. With no replacement bill in sight for SAFETEA-LU, Congress passed a one month extension of the bill as a stopgap spending measure that gives them time to debate a longer extension. On the CMAP website, we've posted a table that lists the amount rescinded from each program category, along with a document from FHWA to answer frequently asked questions about the rescission. Of particular note to northeastern Illinois is the $83.6 million to be rescinded from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program, $25.5 million from the Transportation Enhancement program, $20.3 million from the local Surface Transportation Program (STP), and $37.0 million from the Highway Safety Improvement program. Our staff and various CMAP committees are working to assess exactly how these rescissions will affect local transportation programs.
2016 Olympics. Today's announcement was stunning, but the disappointment should not overshadow significant planning progress that the Chicago bid has helped to stimulate. Let's gather ourselves quickly as a region and move forward, because the stakes are extremely high and many of our goals remain unchanged.
Recovery emails. I hope you enjoyed the return this week of the CMAP Economic Recovery Update, which will be sent every other Wednesday. Produced in partnership with the Regional ARRA Coordinating Council, the updates include program analysis and other helpful information for stakeholders involved in or seeking funding from stimulus programs. If you are on my weekly update distribution, you'll automatically receive the recovery emails.
Moving Forward Together reception. In coordination with CMAP and the Regional ARRA Coordinating Council, Mercy Housing will host a reception on October 27, 2009, to recognize public and private collaboration in the Chicago region for leveraging economic stimulus funding. I'll be among the speakers who include Kristi LaFleur, deputy chief of staff for Governor Quinn, who is leading Illinois stimulus efforts. View the invitation here.
In the GO TO 2040 blog. We have posted the last of the Invent the Future workshop recaps from Chicago's 6th Ward, Berkeley, and Morton Arboretum. Also, guest blogger Ingrid Danler writes about cultivating awareness to solve our region's problems.
Traffic Club events. You are invited to join the Traffic Club of Chicago for their fifth annual Transportation Night on Wednesday, October 7, 2009. The networking event will take place in Rosemont at the Rosewood Restaurant, 9421 W. Higgins Road, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. No reservations are required and a cash bar, complimentary sandwich bar, coffee bar and desserts will be offered. For more information about the event visit the Traffic Club website or call 630-529-1333. And just a reminder that on Thursday, October 15, I'll be speaking at the club's luncheon meeting in Homewood about "Current Transportation Developments Affecting the Southland." Click here for details and a registration form.
GAO report on MPOs. A new report by the Government Accountability Office adds to the debate over Metropolitan Planning Organizations.
Conservation Congress. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources needs public input. Does your organization represent land conservation, hunters or fishers, parents or educators, or people who recreate in the outdoors? Help create a better future at Conservation Congress on Saturday, October 24 (registration 8:15 a.m., program 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) and Sunday, October 25 (check-in 8:30 a.m., program 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) at the IDNR Headquarters in Springfield. Click here to register, or visit the Conservation Congress website. Participants will review, propose and vote on recommendations to elected and appointed Illinois officials in three issue areas: Public Access, Youth Recruitment and Retention, and Conservation Funding. Recommendations will protect and conserve natural resources while ensuring that sustainable use, recreational opportunities, and enjoyment of these resources are available for this and future generations.