Posted on October 08, 2010 2:49 PM
Weekly Update, 10-8-10
Table of Contents
CMAP meetings. The CMAP Board and the MPO Policy Committee will meet at a joint meeting on Wednesday, October 13, 2010, to consider adoption of GO TO 2040. The meeting will be in the CMAP offices and will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. We intend for it to conclude by 10:15 a.m. so we can depart for Millennium Park for the launch event. Meeting materials are available here.
GO TO 2040 launch event. If you haven't yet, don't forget to RSVP online or by phone at 312-676-7459 for the launch of the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 13. At this very special event, CMAP and its partners will gather at the Harris Theater's Rooftop Terrace (map) at Millennium Park to begin the plan's all-important implementation phase. Earlier that day, the CMAP Board and MPO Policy Committee will vote on adoption of the plan. The event location is in a large weather-protected area, so please come whether rain or shine. We look forward to seeing you on October 13, to celebrate and more importantly to begin this crucial new phase of GO TO 2040.
Elgin-O'Hare West bypass progress. On October 5, Governor Quinn announced the formation of the Elgin-O'Hare West Bypass Advisory Council. The Council will assist in the planning and building of the Elgin-O'Hare West Bypass, and the project is expected to create more than 21,000 short-term and 60,000 long-term jobs, according to this press release. I was invited to be a member of the council; click here to see the full list of members. This project is one of the major GO TO 2040 capital projects and is needed to relieve congestion and improve accessibility throughout the O’Hare area, which is a major economic driver for the region. The Daily Herald wrote about progress being made regarding completion of the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway.
Illinois Jobs Forum - POSTPONED. The Illinois Tax Foundation and Union League Club of Chicago conference "Creating and Retaining Jobs: A Forum on Illinois' Economic Future" scheduled to be held on October 15 will be postponed.
Water forum. On October 22, CMAP and Wildman Harrold will co-host a forum titled “New Challenges Facing Municipal Water Suppliers.” This is the first in a series of discussion forums that seek to follow up on key issues highlighted in Water 2050, the northeastern Illinois regional water supply/demand plan. The forum will consider a new Illinois law (P.A. 096-1366) that addresses carcinogenic volatile organic compounds in community water supplies and potential consequences as an outcome of its implementation (see the agenda). While potentially relevant to all public water suppliers, this topic will be of particular interest to groundwater-dependent communities. Representatives of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) are scheduled to participate. The event will be held at Wildman Harrold from 8:45 am to 12:30 p.m. RSVP to Maureen McNair at firstname.lastname@example.org as space will be limited.
Managing public frustration workshop. Channeling public anger from rage to reason will be the focus of a two-day workshop to be offered by the International Association for Public Participation at CMAP on October 27 and 28. Participants will learn how to identify the causes of public anger, how to manage or reduce it, and how to make room for reasoned debate. Cost of the workshop is $750. More information is available online or by calling 720-237-9175.
Greenbuild Conference. From November 17 to 19, the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo will be hosted in Chicago. Over three days, summits will be held on affordable housing, green jobs, and residential topics. There will also be an international forum. Registration and more information is available online.
News & Other Announcements
High-speed rail in the news. Curtis Black of Newstips wrote about the future of high-speed rail in our region, citing GO TO 2040's support for high-speed rail provided that funding for it does not come at the expense of maintaining our existing transportation system. It also describes the creation of a new West Loop Transportation Center, one of the major GO TO 2040 capital projects, which would be needed for Chicago to be the hub of a Midwest high-speed rail network.
PARC grant program. On October 1, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) released the guidelines and application for a Park and Recreational Facility Construction (PARC) grant program. Requests and deadline applications will be accepted from October 15, 2010 to November 2, 2010. Application forms are available online.
MCDI update. The September e-update of the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative (MCDI), sent by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) to a coalition of government agencies, businesses, and non-profits that focus on reducing diesel engine emissions, references work done by CMAP. Page 2 highlights a Chicago Area Locomotive Railyard Meeting that was held on July 13 at CMAP "to discuss partnership opportunities and to find ways to generate additional emmisions reductions from locomotives and associated railyard activities. The newsletter also mentioned CMAP as one of the 2010 MCDI Leadership Award Winners for our work programing Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) funds.
Green Signals. This week, CMAP’s transportation operations blog informed readers about the Open Source Alternative to Deploying Transportation Management Systems Webinar. The webinar will discuss an open-source alternative for deploying transportation management systems for state departments of transportation, municipalities or other agencies. The blog also featured the Maintenance Decision Support Systems: A Proven, Cost-Effective Tool for State and Local DOTs flyer, which provides information on a decision support system available to local and state maintenance departments to assist in making consistent effective decisions during weather events.
Soles and Spokes. Over the last two weeks, CMAP’s bike-ped planning blog continued a on the ‘training opportunities’ theme from the week before. We alerted readers to the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) webinar, co-sponsored by the Congress for New Urbanism, on “Designing walkable urban thoroughfares.” We also touted our own upcoming two-day workshops, co-sponsored with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), “Designing for pedestrian safety.” These workshops, developed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC), address pedestrian safety issues through design and engineering solutions. We informed readers of the upcoming conference in Washington D.C. on “Transportation Systems for Livable Communities,” which will explore the connections and interaction between transportation and livability -- an important concept in the GO TO 2040 plan. The conference will comprise of interrelated ideas such as sustainability, quality of life, the character of place, and the health of communities. Finally, we posted a local success story: the completion of two sections of the DuPage River Trail in Naperville. Both sections were built with CMAQ funding.
Small Business Week. From October 11 to 15, Crain's Chicago Business will sponsor its first annual Small Business Week. A range of educational and business development activities will be held, including the launch of the Small Business Census, a "data-driven exercise" to show new and interesting findings about small business impact on the overall business community. That week's edition of Crain's will feature a Focus section on small business. Partly because it coincides with the October 13 GO TO 2040 launch, CMAP was pleased to assist Crain's with some data (from Dun & Bradstreet) and analysis that reinforce how important the plan is to our region's economy.
Water utility revenue loss workshop. Two interactive workshops on water utility conservation rates in the Great Lakes will be hosted in the Midwest in the next two months. Funded by the Great Lakes Protection fund and led by the Great Lakes Commission, these workshops are targeted for water utility managers/finance officers, public works directors, city managers, and elected/appointed officials. Attendees will learn why water conservation rates should be part of a sound utility management strategy, identify barriers to changing rates, and understand the benefits of conservation pricing and how to keep water revenues stable. Attendees will also receive a handbook about revising rates. The first will take place on October 12 in Ann Arbor, MI, with the second on November 8 in Racine, WI. The cost of $35 per person includes lunch.
Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge open houses. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host two public meetings in Illinois for input on the potential bi-state Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge. The first meeting will be held on October 12 at the McHenry County Government Center Administration Building, and the second will be held on October 13 at the Lost Valley Visitor Center in Ringwood. Both public meetings will run from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
GreenTown Chicago. On October 13 and 14, the City of Chicago will sponsor GreenTown Chicago at Columbia College. CMAP will lead a GO TO 2040 workshop from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the afternoon of October 14. Keynote speaker Philippe Cousteau will address global and local water issues and solutions. Registration available online.
SRTS workshops underway. CMAP is working with Active Trans and TY Lin International to present the Safe Routes National Course in eight northeastern Illinois communities. The courses are community-based workshops bringing together schools, local agencies, and communities to plan for safe routes to school at the community level. CMAP is presenting these workshops to assist northeastern Illinois communities in the development of School Travel Plans, a requirement for applying for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funding. The final two workshops will occur on October 15 in Winfield and October 22 in Batavia. Information about attending these workshops, scheduling a workshop for your community, and attending related “how to apply for safe routes funding” workshops is posted at online. The Illinois SRTS program is a federally funded program, administered by IDOT, that supports projects and programs that enable and encourage walking and bicycling to and from school.
Snow and Ice workshop. McHenry County's Division of Water Resources and Department of Transportation will host two workshops on winter snow and ice control; the first will occur on October 22 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and the second will be offered on November 5 at the same time. The workshop will encourage "sensible salting practices without compromising safety." Registration must be received by October 17, and the registration form and more information is available online.
South Side Health and Wellness. On October 24, the Chicago Humanities Festival will host a panel, The South Side Health and Vitality Studies: Body and Community Wellness. Dr. Eric Whitaker oversees the Urban Health Initiative, a partnership between the University of Chicago Medical Center and community doctors, clinics, and hospitals to "address and improve the long-term health of South Side residents. Dr. Whitaker will lead the panel to discuss the ramifications of the study's findings and impact of quality health care delivery. Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door; teachers and students get in free. The panel will take place from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the University of Chicago's Mandell Hall.
Pedestrian Safety Workshops. From October 26 to 27 and October 28 to 29, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will be conducting two two-day workshops, “Designing Streets for Pedestrian Safety,” in the Chicago area. These IDOT- and CMAP-sponsored workshops will address pedestrian safety issues through design and engineering solutions. Instructors will cover the significance of land-use, sidewalk and walkway design, signs, signals, and crosswalks. Participants will also take part in a field exercise at a nearby intersection. These workshops, funded by FHWA, will be an opportunity for planners and engineers to learn about strategies for addressing pedestrian crashes and design-related barriers to pedestrian travel in our communities. Information about the workshops is posted online. The first will be hosted in Schaumburg, and the second will take place in CMAP's offices in the Tower. PDH units are available for this course for the engineering community.
Solar Market Transformation Conference. On October 29, a conference on solar market transformation will be held in Normal, IL. Organized by the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, and the Green Institute at Heartland Community College, presentations will cover solar resources, economics, technology, marketplace, partnerships, and more. The conference is intended for mayors, city planners, council members, and the general public. A conference agenda and registration are available online, or call 309-268-8160 to register by phone.