Posted on November 25, 2008 11:56 PM
Weekly update, 11/26/08
Weekly Update, 11/26/08
Federal infrastructure spending. Of the many challenges facing our leaders in Washington, infrastructure is quickly moving closer to centerstage as a consensus emerges that -- of many options under consideration to stimulate the economy -- federal investment in roads, transit, and other near-term construction projects should be a priority in early 2009. While a stimulus package that uses infrastructure investments to create jobs is something that we support, we need to ensure that those investments yield meaningful results to our transportation system. We have a significant number of needs in this region that could begin to be addressed through additional funding. However, we need to make sure that we are using taxpayer’s dollars to address improvements that will support our region’s economic position and the quality of the lives of our residents. At its meeting on December 10, 2008, the CMAP Board will discuss the need for a strategic and transparent federal approach to infrastructure investments that reinforces the regional vision of metropolitan areas like ours.
GO TO 2040 blog. CMAP's Stephen Ostrander writes about the future of urban design, in the context of shifting energy requirements.
GO TO 2040 Community Conversations.
Please see http://www.goto2040.org/conversations.aspx for an updated list of Community Conversations that CMAP has scheduled for residents to discuss the GO TO 2040
campaign. The following meetings have been scheduled for next week:
- Indian Trails Public Library (355 S. Schoenbeck Road, Wheeling) on Monday, December 1 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. and again from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome. (Please contact Diana Torres for more information at 312-386-8774 or email@example.com)
- Archer Heights Library (5055 S. Archer Ave., Chicago) on Thursday, December 4 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome. (Please contact Diana Torres for more information at 312-386-8774 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
CMAQ projects. The FY 2009 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program for northeastern Illinois was approved by the CMAP Board and MPO Policy Committee at their October meetings. Following the required review by FHWA and FTA, project sponsors were notified this week to proceed with their projects. A list of the approved FY 2009 CMAQ projects is available on the CMAP website. In conjunction with CMAP, the Northwest Municipal Conference is hosting a CMAQ Workshop for agencies interested in applying for funding from the FY 2010 CMAQ program. The workshop is scheduled for December 16, 2008 at Oakton Community College from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. More information is available on the workshop flyer (315KB PDF).
FLIP update. The 40 high school students from around the region known as CMAP's Future Leaders In Planning (FLIP) have come together for three program sessions this fall. Thanks to support from CMAP partners, they have been able to visit a Union Pacific freight yard, Calumet Water Reclamation Plant, Chicago Center for Green Building, Chicago Loop Alliance, El Valor and several other community organizations around the region. The students have also had the opportunity to learn from regional decision makers and to form their own analyses of community issues. Rachel Cain, a sophomore at Willowbrook High School, has this to say about teen crime: "One of the concerns in many communities are when teenagers get into trouble and get involved with drugs, alcohol or other criminal activities. Not all teenagers get involved in school activities and they have too much time on their hands. Therefore, it is important to have activities for teenagers to become involved in. Some activities can be through the school, such as clubs, sports activities, music and drama activities. But for teenagers who are disenfranchised from school they need some place to hang out. Some communities have teen centers where teenagers can come to hang out with friends, participate in sports activities for the fun of it and not competition. Through a teen center there might be opportunities to teach teenagers new skills or give them opportunities to mentor with an adult, learn, and explore career opportunities. With limited tax dollars, it may be difficult for local governments to provide teen centers. Some churches and non-profit organizations have tried to provide teen centers, but it may be difficult for them to succeed long term due to lack of donations. Therefore, as part of community development, it may be to their advantage for local governments to offer incentives to encourage businesses to cater to teenagers and promote teenage friendly businesses." In coming weeks, we'll share other comments from this outstanding group of young people, whose FLIP participation continues throughout this school year.
Chicago's Lakefront on WTTW. In his on-going tour of the region, Geoffrey Baer's latest stop is the lakefront. Debuting at 7:30 p.m. on WTTW11 and WTTW-D next Monday, December 1, 2008, the show is a 90-minute journey in High-Definition video. As the program description states, "It's a 17-mile-long people's paradise designed in large part by city planner Daniel Burnham a hundred years ago. But we didn't get it without a fight. The documentary is full of colorful characters who've fought with each other and fought against nature for a piece of this coveted coastline." It repeats on Tuesday, December 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 14 at 12:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. See http://www.wttw.com/lakefront for a preview. Geoffrey was kind enough to speak at our September 2007 kickoff visioning event for what has since been named the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional planning campaign.
Happy Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is rapidly becoming my favorite holiday of the year. There isn't the hectic atmosphere that surrounds the holiday season that follows. I don't have to send out dozens of holiday cards (although I did get a Thanksgiving card this year). Generally, with a four day weekend, the family can find some time to be together. Someone asked me earlier this week if I could only thank one person, who would it be? The question got exactly the response that they were looking for in that so many people are important in our lives, how can we thank only one? So as the holiday season begins, think about those that you should be thanking and take time to do it. Be safe and have a Happy Thanksgiving.
SPECIAL REMINDER: Don't forget to join CMAP's GO TO 2040 Partners Program! Please complete our simple partnership form. We'll send you a Partnership Kit with materials and a DVD to help you and your organization get involved in the region's first truly comprehensive plan. See our growing list of partners who have made the commitment to planning for a better future.