Posted on March 21, 2008 1:37 AM
Weekly Update, 3/21/08
Freight issues to the fore. I was part of a delegation led by Mayor Daley that visited Los Angeles earlier this week. The purpose of the visit was primarily to talk about freight and the movement of goods. We took a train down the Alameda Corridor that moves freight from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and met with their chief executive, who discussed how the project came together and their future needs. We then toured the Port of L.A. and saw the tremendous amount of activity that comes through that port each day. I think that the entire delegation feels that we need to re-emphasize building a national coalition that addresses freight movement needs and finds a way to move the CREATE project into a higher profile. It is likely to be a very important aspect of the GO TO 2040 plan and its implementation.
GO TO 2040 web. Be sure to visit the new -- and quickly growing -- website for GO TO 2040. There's a new blog that has two entries already. Please leave a comment or two and be part of our discussion about how the region can rise to meet its many challenges. Residents can complete a brief survey to express their preferences. On the main page, use the "Video" tab to see clips from several schools involved in pilot "Bold Ideas" contests designed to get kids thinking -- and acting -- creatively about the future. The students are from Whitney Young High School, Pulaski Middle School, and Carpenter Elementary School. They're submitting dozens of creative entries in categories such as illustrations, videos, original music, and performance. The students were asked to imagine that the year is 2040: What does the region look like? Describe a trip to the supermarket -- or is there a supermarket? What are schools and houses like? Where do people work, and how do they get there? Based on what we learn in these three pilots, we hope to seek funding to replicate the results elsewhere across the region starting later in 2008. It's pretty inspiring to see these young people brainstorming about the future.
The Patterson Lecture. For 25 years, the annual Patterson Transportation Lecture has been a high point in the year of Northwestern University's Transportation Center. The series has featured speakers from Alfred Kahn to Herb Kelleher. The 2008 lecture will be delivered on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 by Matthew K. Rose, the chairman, president, and CEO of BNSF Railway. The lecture will take place at the James Allen Center at 7:30 p.m. (Click here for directions)Mr. Rose will discuss the importance and implications of the recently released report of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Commission on which he served. The commission report included substantial and in some cases controversial recommendations regarding restructuring federal transportation programs, use of objective criteria for project selection, more balanced consideration of freight in the national policy process, regulatory reform to encourage private investment, and motor fuel tax increases, among many other things. Mr. Rose will also comment on the business activities of the BNSF Railroad, current and planned. See http://transportation.northwestern.edu/programs/patterson/ for more information.
NTI course. We are the host site for a three-day Transportation and Land Use course on April 22-24, taught by the National Transit Institute (NTI) out of Rutgers University. The course will assist participants in understanding the relationships between transportation and land use; the processes through which transportation and land use issues can be jointly addressed; and implementation steps to ensure that transportation and land use systems are designed in a compatible, mutually supportive manner. The course is targeted towards a diversity of participants, including planning and engineering staff at state, regional, local, and federal transportation agencies; local planning staff and officials; staff of other resource agencies; consultants for these agencies; and other stakeholders such as developers, citizen activists, and business leaders. Click here for more information.
Reminders. Please don't forget our next "Seal the Deal" event on Monday, March 31, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Oak Brook, where a panel of experts will highlight a number of economic development incentives and emphasize best practices to implement them. Contact Paul Reise (312-386-8631 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Also, the public comment period continues on the Cook-DuPage Corridor, for which a committee of elected county and municipal officials recently approved a scenario of eight transportation improvements to advance for more detailed analysis. See http://www.cook-dupagecorridor.com/getting_involved.html for a comment form. And the Linking Watersheds Conference on Tuesday, April 22, 2008, a full-day, interactive conference on issues relevant to the watersheds in northeastern Illinois, northwestern Indiana, and southeastern Wisconsin. See http://foxriverecosystem.org/conference.htm or contact Becky Hoag (630-482-9157 or email@example.com).