Posted on May 28, 2010 1:51 PM
Weekly Update, 5-28-10
Table of Contents
Illinois state budget. The Illinois General Assembly has sent the Fiscal Year 2011 Budget to the Governor for his consideration. Details can be found in HB 859, but $5.0 million in funding for comprehensive regional planning was included in IDOT’s budget. The most significant element of the budget that has not been resolved is funding for state pension contributions.
Draft plan next week. The draft GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan will be available online next week and is being presented next month to the CMAP Board and MPO Policy Committee. The draft will begin a public comment period from June 11 to August 6, 2010. As announced last week, CMAP will host meetings across the seven-county region for residents and stakeholder groups. Smaller briefings will be held for partner organizations. Please contact Erin Aleman (email@example.com or 312-386-8816) for information. After incorporating public input, we will present the GO TO 2040 plan for approval by the CMAP Board and MPO Policy Committee in October. At that time, a shorter, illustrated plan publication will also be published. Then the work of implementing its recommendations will begin, and the region will be counting on your continued support and involvement.
Get your kids outdoors. June is Leave No Child Inside Month, and the Chicago Wilderness alliance is promoting events throughout the region to promote outdoor play for the healthy development of children. The fun starts May 22, click here for a list of events.
World Environment Day. Missing all the fun of last month's Earth Day? No fear, June 5 is World Environment Day, and the Chicago Botanic Garden is sponsoring daylong workshops and demonstrations.
Other News and Announcements
Bringing the suburbs closer. The Atlantic published an interesting article on the potential future of conventional American suburbs. It predicts that by building walkable communities and linking them by privately-funded train lines, suburbs can meet a growing demand for walkable urban living.
Bluetooth highway. Starting in a few weeks, your cell phone’s Bluetooth signal could help report traffic times on the Eisenhower Expressway. IDOT hired a Wisconsin company to track anonymous Bluetooth signals from cars travelling on the crowded lanes to pinpoint areas of congestion that have risen dramatically due to construction projects. This innovative idea is a temporary solution until new embedded road sensors are installed later this year.
New HUD criteria. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will now incorporate the LEED-ND green neighborhood rating system as criteria to score grant applications on their location efficiency. Location efficiency measures how easily residents can connect to affordable jobs, schools, jobs, and other amenities through transportation options. This will impact over $3 billion in investments by the agency. Metropolitan Planning Council blogged about the new development.
GO TO 2040 blog. We featured a shot of the Chicago marine safety station as our Flickr photo this week. We continued our "My 2040" series with an interview with Caron Wenzel who works to preserve native plants and educate the public on sustainable planting initiatives. We also finished up our round of FLIP final presentations with the Environment group.
Soles and Spokes. CMAP’s bike-ped blog notes an new CDC report about connections between health and transportation, which makes specific recommendations for improving health through transportation policy. We also announced a new, mile-long section of multi-use path that completes a segment of our Greenways and Trails Plan in Cary, IL. We also informed readers of a new bike trip planner option on the RTA’s online transportation decision support tool, http://www.goroo.com/. We pointed professional planners and engineers to the APBP’s publication, Bicycle Parking Guidelines. And finally, we posted notice of an upcoming webinar on the U.S. Access Boards draft guidelines for accessible public rights-of-way.
Municipal surveys due Tuesday. We are very grateful to the 120 municipalities -- representing 53 percent of our suburban population -- that have submitted complete 2010 Municipal Plans, Programs, and Operations Surveys. Your efforts are appreciated. During our follow-up calls this week to municipalities who have not yet returned their surveys, many of you promised to submit your surveys by next week. Thank you in advance! Click here to view a map showing municipalities that have already returned their surveys. The deadline has been extended to June 1 to accommodate the busy schedules of our municipal partners. If you require additional time please don’t hesitate to contact Sandy Perpignani (312-386-8648 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Questionnaires may be submitted via mail, fax, email, or on the web. To begin, please visit www.cmap.illinois.gov/cmapmunisurvey.aspx.
Infrastructures for Change. On June 3, Archeworks is sponsoring its semiannual symposium, Infrastructures for Change, at our offices (233 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 800, in Chicago). The symposium will focus on the past 100 years of design and planning in Chicago, Lake Michigan, and the built urban environment within the Great Lakes Basin.
Energy efficiency funds. The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus recently issued a request for applications (RFA) for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funds for all non-entitlement municipalities and counties in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties. The RFA is open to municipalities with populations under 35,000 and counties with populations under 200,000. Click here for a list of eligible communities. The funds can be used for energy efficiency building retrofits, energy audits, building code development and enforcement, and traffic signals and streetlights. Applications are due by June 11. For more information, contact Kate Agasie (312-201-4508 or email@example.com).
A Day for Zach. If you plan to attend or donate and haven't already sent a check, please contact Jack Pfingston (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8617) to RSVP for "A Day for Zach," a charity golf outing and luncheon on Monday, June 28, at Seven Bridges Golf Club in Woodridge. See www.cmap.illinois.gov/zach. For non-golfers, just the luncheon is available at a reduced cost. And contributions are welcome even if you can't attend, with proceeds to Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago (EFGC) and its week-long "Camp Blackhawk" for children and teens with epilepsy, in memory of Zach Pfingston who attended the camp and counted golf among his many sporting interests.