Talks at BACOG, McHenry, Kendall, Rockford, and Kankakee. This was an especially busy week for me in terms of public presentations. I spoke in Deer Park and Johnsburg about the need for our local elected officials and municipal staff to be involved in the Regional Comprehensive Planning process. On Thursday, I spoke to RATS, the Rockford MPO, which may take a similar approach to CMAP's by integrating land-use and transportation planning (http://tinyurl.com/2l8fm5). From the Rockford area, I drove to Kankakee for a talk last night to the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County, which is a new organization with representation from the local MPO and business community. Then this morning I spoke at the Kendall County Growth Conference, whose theme was "What Happens When the Wells Run Dry?" Last year, the U.S. Census ranked Kendall third-fastest growing county nationally, and the only one in the top ten that isn't in the South or the West. They have a chance to learn from other counties' experiences in dealing with water issues that result from such rapid growth.
WBBM-AM interview. On Monday morning WBBM-AM 780 will air an interview recorded this week by reporter Bernie Tafoya. He asked me about the need for transportation enhancements in support of Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympics. His story pertains to the October 29 hearing in Chicago scheduled by the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The stated topic of that hearing is "Chicagoland Transportation Needs for the 2016 Olympic Bid." A frequent refrain lately is that the region can't dream big because today's problems -- including mass transit -- are so dire. If transit's "doomsday" arrives on November 4, that tragic situation is actually the proof of why metropolitan Chicago needs to take a longer-term, comprehensive approach to planning better for the future. In the interview, I expressed support for the Olympic bid and the effort to make necessary improvements to the region's transportation system. I said that the city's bid should be a rallying point and source of great pride to the whole region, but it should not be the main rationale for fixing our current problem of under-funding transit and the transportation system as a whole. Instead, the rationale should be that our region's economy suffers tremendously from the lack of stable funding for operations and maintenance of transportation. Ideally, people will take a long-term view, because we'll see the negative economic impacts in the very short term unless a solution is found very soon.
New CMAP web. As you may have noticed, this week we launched CMAP's new web design. The address (http://www.cmap.illinois.gov) is new, too. The site is based on a powerful content-management system that will give us more flexibility than the old system. These weekly emails are now available in blog form, meaning you may post comments and engage in discussions. The calendar function is a significant improvement, as is the expandable menu navigation at left. (Use the "about" menu to find basic CMAP information, including career opportunities and RFP's. The other menu items include "committees," "publications," "planning activies," and regional data.") Our intention is to present a broader picture of CMAP's activities for people who might not have the inclination to wade into the voluminous committee materials. The site is in no sense finished, because we will be adding content and interactive features, including wiki capabilities that will add a new dimension to our public engagement on the regional comprehensive plan and other projects.
Vision Statement survey. Coinciding with the new web, we are asking CMAP committee members and other partners to take a few moments to complete the survey (http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/survey.aspx) about our draft vision statements. These were revised following the September 12 visioning event. If you did not attend that day, the survey is an opportunity for you to provide the same type of feedback as attendees did. If you were at the event, it lets you check in on the revisions and make further comments. The survey will be available at least through December, and we'll incorporate the feedback as those vision statements are honed in coming months. Please forward the link to anyone you think would like to participate. Because it's geared mainly to people who are into planning, we'll have a streamlined version for the general public, probably in January. See http://www.goto2040.org for more about the regional comprehensive planning process.
Regional Water Supply Planning Group. The committee met this week in Geneva and the focus of the meeting was to learn about and discuss progress with the water demand scenarios study underway. Kane County also presented the results of their five-year water supply study, now concluded, and how and why this new information is relevant to the decisions that the group will make as they work towards producing a regional plan.
CMAP climate change summit. Don't forget to mark your calendar for our next Innovation + Integration summit, "Creating a Regional Agenda to Address Climate Change," on December 11 at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The preliminary agenda will be available next week, when invitations will be mailed. See http://www.goto2040.org/climate_summit.aspx and contact 312.386.8704 or email@example.com for more information.
APA L'Enfant Lecture. "From the Global Border to the Border Neighborhood" will feature award-winning architect and urban theorist Teddy Cruz showing "how the nonconformist and entrepreneurial spirit he finds in Latin American neighborhoods can help all Americans envision a life without gates." This year's L'Enfant Lecture on City Planning and Design will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, on November 1, 2007, at 7 p.m. The annual L'Enfant Lecture is co-sponsored by the American Planning Association and the National Building Museum. Admission is $10 for APA and NBM members; $15 for nonmembers. Students with a school ID will be admitted free. See http://www.planning.org/lenfant/ for more information or to register.
Transport Chicago. The Transport Chicago conference Steering Committee is beginning is planning for next year’s conference. Anyone interested in volunteering on the Steering Committee should contact CMAP's Doug Ferguson (386-8824 or firstname.lastname@example.org). The next meeting of the Steering Committee is November 13th (location is TBD) at 5:15pm. Transport Chicago (formerly known as the Metropolitan Conference on Public Transportation Research or MCPTR), provides a forum for presenting and discussing research on transportation and related issues. The conference is held annually in Chicago.