DRI comments. A second version of the proposed Developments of Regional Importance (DRI) process is being released for a 45-day comment period ending April 6, 2009. The Programming Coordinating Committee has substantially revised the DRI process from its original public release last fall. For more information, contact Tara Fifer (email@example.com or 312-386-8758). Please send comments via email or postal mail to Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Attention: DRI Public Comments, 233 South Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606.
ARRA upate. Since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was signed on Tuesday by President Obama, we have been working closely with local partners to prepare for the infusion of stimulus funds for infrastructure, including transportation, water projects, housing, economic and workforce development, energy, brownfields, and more. Don't forget to watch our Regional Response web page for updates. (You can also subscribe to the page via RSS feed.) According to FHWA, the highway funds for each state from the ARRA are distributed as follows: 67 percent for allocation to any area of the state, 30 percent for suballocation to areas based on population, and 3 percent for Transportation Enhancements. In Illinois, this will result in distribution of a total funding amount of $935 million, broken down as $626 million to any area of the state, $280 million for suballocation to areas based on population, $28 million to Transportation Enhancements. We are in continual contact with IDOT and other CMAP partners to help ensure that our region and its residents benefit to the fullest extent possible.
Highway trust fund. USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood made news today in an interview with the Associated Press about options for renewing the badly depleted highway trust fund. While the alternatives are sure to generate lively debate and even controversy, it is absolutely essential that the federal government move quickly to put the transportation system -- including roads, bridges, transit, and freight -- on solid financial ground for decades to come. The current economic stimulus has highlighted the importance of infrastructure, and it will fund projects with significant near-term economic benefits. But infrastructure is a relatively small part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and it needs to be the first step toward a new federal transportation act that institutes significant reforms.
Public works green training. CMAP, Moraine Valley Community College, the Economic Development Council for the Southwest Suburbs and the Southwest Conference of Mayors invite you to "Planning for the Future: Green Initiatives for Public Works Directors and Supervisors" on March 26 from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Moraine Valley Community College. Two speakers from the Illinois Department of Transportation responsible for developing and implementing the agency's green initiatives will discuss alternative fuels and conservation, green incentives, green purchasing, and more. Registration of $25 includes continental breakfast. For more information, call (708) 974-5735 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Panel Discussion on Energy Audits. CMAP, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity invite you to the Green Practices for Local Governments Panel Session on Energy Audits. This is the first in a series of sessions on green practices to assist staff and elected officials of local governments in their efforts to reduce impacts of our activities on the environment. Click here for more information. The panel discussion will be held in CMAP's offices on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. RSVP to email@example.com or 312-386-8658.
FLIP in the news. The Pioneer Press has a story about CMAP Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP) participant Laura Berman, whose civic-mindedness has the Stevenson High School junior following in the footsteps of her father, Buffalo Grove Trustee Jeff Berman.
Blog entries. CMAP's Erin Aleman and Lindsay Banks write about the challenges to regional thinking. And the FLIP students describe their recent visit to the O'Hare Modernization Project. You can also keep up with the GO TO 2040 blog via RSS feed.
Latino issues. Today CMAP's Diana Torres is part of a panel at DePaul University titled "Vincentian Action at the Border," about immigration and its impacts in the Chicagoland area. Other panelists include Charles Strain, (Professor of Religious Studies PhD, and the Nogales Study Abroad Trip's primary professor), Eleni Wolfe-Roubatis (attorney with the Detention Project of the National Immigrant Justice Center), and Richard Ryback (Advancement Officer for Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Ministries). Recently, Diana and I taped a pair of interviews (hers in Spanish, and one including me in English) for CAN-TV about CMAP's upcoming Latino Regional Snapshot report. We'll send a reminder next week about the segments, the Spanish version of which will air on Thursday, March 5 at 8:30 p.m. on Channel 21 for Comcast subscribers in Chicago. The English segment will air on Saturday, March 7 at 8:30 p.m. on Channel 21.
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. Next week, we will host two meetings:
- Richmond Township (7812 S. Route 31, Richmond) on Wednesday, February 25 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. (Please contact Ylda Pineyro at 312-386-8670 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Roselle Public Library District (40 South Park Street, Roselle) on Wednesday, February 25 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. (Please contact Diana Torres for more information at 312-386-8774 or email@example.com)