Posted on December 04, 2009 2:17 PM
Weekly Update, 12-4-09
December 4, 2009
CMAP Board meeting. At 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 9, 2009, the CMAP Board will meet. Click here for Board meeting materials. Neither of the coordinating committees will meet this month.
Regional energy report. Among the many GO TO 2040 strategy papers, we've commissioned a few by partner organizations. The latest is by the Center for Neighborhood Technology regarding the region's patterns of energy consumption and possible strategies to manage them. The report and appendices are linked at our strategy papers web page.
Recovery blog. Check out our regularly updated Recovery blog, where we provide useful stimulus information and resources. Interested in finding and rating local stimulus projects? Read more at our blog. Recovery Zone Facility Bonds are now available for counties and large municipalities in each state, and you can read more here. In case you missed it, don't forget about last week's Economic Recovery Update.
ROI Model training. CMAP's Return on Investment (ROI) Model is designed to help municipalities achieve the type of development they want (such as mixed-use), by testing whether such development is financially feasible under their existing land use regulations (more details can be found here). On Friday, December 11, 2009, CMAP will offer a free class from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to train municipal planners how to use this helpful tool, which itself is provided free of charge to municipal staff once they complete the training. Space is limited to 10 participants, so please contact Stephen Ostrander at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Market-analysis workshop. CMAP and its partners invite you to a seminar on January 25, 2010, designed to offer practical advice to planners, economic developers, and municipal managers on getting the most out of a market analysis. The event, "Process, Pitfalls, and Profit: Effective Market Analysis Techniques," will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Monday, January 25, 2010, at the ComEd Commercial Center, 1919 Swift Dr., Oak Brook, IL 60523. It will consist of two panels. The first will discuss best practices and basic principles of conducting an effective market analysis. The second will address marketing techniques that are geared specially to these challenging economic times. Registration is $50, with lunch included. RSVP by January 11, 2009, to the Illinois Development Council via fax at 217-241-4683 or phone at 217-528-5230 x4. Please make non-refundable checks payable to the Illinois Development Council, 225 E. Cook St., Springfield, IL 62704.
Argonne brownfield research. Argonne National Laboratory in DuPage County has a five-acre outdoor "lab" where they're testing cheap methods for cleaning up brownfield sites using a specially created type of tree with roots that grow straight down to collect and filter contaminated water. Learn more about brownfields at the GO TO 2040 Strategy Papers page. By the way, Argonne received multiple stimulus grants for research totaling more than $10 million; read more in our Economic Recovery Newsletter.
Amtrak analysis. UIC urban planning grad student Steven Vance blogged this week about how Amtrak operations are affected by freight congestion, referencing a draft GO TO 2040 report.
RTA budget hearings. The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) will host public hearings December 7-10 to discuss the 2010 budget and provide an update on the RTA Strategic Plan. In addition, the budget and Strategic Plan update will be presented through webinars, posted on the RTA website, and made available at certain libraries in the region. Visit the RTA website for more information.
I-290 Congress Parkway bridge rehabilitation project. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will rehabilitate the Congress Parkway Bridge beginning in spring 2010. The scope of work includes rehabilitating the existing bridge structurally, electrically, and mechanically, thus making a smoother ride for the motoring public. In addition, I-290 Eisenhower Expressway will begin resurfacing from Thorndale to the Circle Interchange. Furthermore, the Chicago Department of Transportation will begin a reconstruction of Upper and Lower Wacker Drive from Randolph St. to I-290 Congress Parkway. IDOT appreciates your patience and urges the motoring public to begin taking necessary steps like alternate route planning, car pooling, flexible work schedules, and public transportation to avoid traffic. Please visit http://www.dot.il.gov/congresspkwy/index.html for more information.
IDOT call for projects. The department has announced a call for projects for the local rail/highway grade crossing safety program. Applications are due by January 15, 2010. This program funds local safety improvements at rail/highway grade crossings.
Mix and match. Gapersblock.com pointed us to a clever sorting of the country's 50 largest metropolitan areas arranged in silhouette by population. See if you can pick out Chicagoland in the bunch.
Asian carp. Remember a blog last year by CMAP's Lindsay Banks about the invasive Asian Carp? We said that the Asian Carp was within 50 miles of the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal -- which is a mere two days' swim for the voracious fish. Now, the Asian Carp has oficially made it into the canal. This week, officials dumped poison into the canal to kill any of this invasive species that might be present while they repair the electrical barrier that was installed to prevent the fish from spreading into the Great Lakes. So far, only one Asian Carp has been found, but the Alliance for the Great Lakes argues that these electrical barriers are not a long-term solution, and has proposed six options for separating the watersheds to stop the transfer of species between them.
Photo contest update. On Tuesday we accepted the last submission of beautiful regional photographs for our 2009 Images of Northeastern Illinois Photo Contest. We're busy sorting the hundreds of photos and will be announcing winners soon after our judges get a look at them. Thanks again to our prize sponsors and judges, including the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Active Transportation Alliance, Richard Stromberg's Chicago Photography Classes, Gapersblock.com, the Metropolitan Planning Council, the Illinois Humanities Council, the Chicagoland Digital Photograph Meetup Group, and Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks.
Burnham film premiere. The theatrical debut of "Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City" will occur on Sunday, December 13, 2009, at 3:00 p.m. at the Gene Siskel Film Center. A panel discussion with the producers, Chicago Architecture Foundation leadership, architects, and academics will take place immediately after the screening. A second screening will be held Monday, December 14 at 6:00 p.m. at the Siskel Center. And don't forget that WTTW Channel 11 will air the broadcast premiere at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 17. Tickets to the screening are $10.00 for general admission, $7.00 for students, $4.00 for School of the Art Institute students and faculty, and Art Institute staff, $5.00 for Siskel Film Center members. For more information, call the center at (312) 846-2800. All ticket levels are available at the Gene Siskel Film Center Box Office, which opens at 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and 2:00 p.m. on weekends. Only general admission tickets are available through Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787 or at ticketmaster.com.