Posted on May 07, 2010 1:49 PM
Weekly Update, 5-7-10
Table of Contents
Condolences. On behalf of everyone at CMAP, we send condolences to our colleagues at Metra on the passing of their executive director Phil Pagano.
CMAP meetings. At 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 12, 2010, the CMAP Board will meet. Click here for Board meeting materials. Prior to the Board, both the Planning and Programming Coordinating Committees will meet at 8:00 a.m. Click here for Planning committee materials and here for the Programming committee materials.
Staff Progress report. Ourthird-quarter progress report based on CMAP's FY10 work plan is now available online.
Municipal Surveys are due today. Mayors and planning staff throughout the region should have received CMAP's first Municipal Programs, Plans, and Operations Survey in the mail last week. We're asking each municipality in the seven-county region to please complete and submit this survey by via mail, fax, e-mail, or the web by close of business today. CMAP will use this data to inform the Regional Indicators project website that will be launched this fall in partnership with the Chicago Community Trust. One of the project's main goals is to provide state-of-the-art data analysis tools to governments and others in the region as a resource to help inform local policy choices.
EPA talk. On Wednesday I spoke to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Ready Water Utilities Working Group about the Water 2050 regional plan and how the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan will address resource conservation. My talk described the importance of building consensus for the implementation of these two plans. I would like to thank the working group for this opportunity to meet them.
Water forum. On May 12, 2010, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) and Openlands are hosting a half-day forum, Choosing our Water Future. CMAP's Tim Loftus will be a panelist for a discussion on state, regional, and local collaboration on the management of integrated water resources.
NARC conference. From June 15 to 17, the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) will hold its annual conference and exhibition in Cleveland, Ohio. Session topics include transportation, communications, homeland security, the environment, economic and community development, and a range of other issues. Visit the conference website for a draft agenda and registration.
Other News and Announcements
FLIP presentations and applications. Those who were unable to attend the FLIP Final Presentation can view all of the final project booklets and presentation videos online at the newly updated FLIP website (www.cmap.illinois.gov/flip-future-leaders-in-planning). This year FLIP participants developed guidebooks and presentations to help high school students implement aspects of the Preferred Regional Scenario. CMAP will be accepting 2010-2011 FLIP applications through Friday, May 28. Please pass the applications along to any potentially interested high schoolers (or their families and teachers). The FLIP program is offered free of charge for high school students who are interested in learning about and contributing to a better future for our region.
Urbanophile. Aaron Renn considers why the 21st Century may not produce another Burnham (or a Lennon and McCartney). He makes some interesting points. For all the benefits of our era -- including how the Internet tends to level the playing field -- breaking through the chatter and achieving consensus can be difficult. But in the end, it's surely a net positive in terms of transparency and giving everyone a chance to have their say.
Suburban foreclosures. The New York Times published an article about Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding allocations in our region, and what suburban communities are doing to fight foreclosures after not receiving NSP funds. CMAP's Lee Deuben is quoted in the article. The Chicago News Cooperative site has a remarkable animation showing the spread of foreclosures within Cook County from 2006-09. As the story points out, this is truly a region-wide problem.
H + T index. Both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly have approved a bill specifying that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), the Department of Transportation (IDOT), and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) will use the Center for Neighborhood Technology's H+T Affordability Index (or a similar measure that includes both housing and transportation costs) to screen and prioritize public investments in MPO areas. Use of H +T will also be recommended by the Capital Development Board (CDB) and the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA). Open sharing of data is also key to effective decision making in our region and state.
HSR benefits. The Metropolitan Planning Council has posted their analysis of anticipated economic benefits from the advent of high-speed rail between Chicago and St. Louis. MPC projects that, over the first ten years, HSR would result in $320 million of direct spending by about 800,000 new tourists, with $510 million in total direct and indirect spending. State and local tax revenue for the same period would be $120 million, according to the report.
New education grant program. The U.S. Department of Education is offering a new competitive grant program, Promise Neighborhoods, to address the needs of children in distressed, high-poverty communities. Applications are due June 25.
BRT in the news. The Chicago Tribune's Jon Hilkevitch wrote a story about the CTA's federal application for $150 million to bring bus rapid transit to our area. The story quotes me regarding the benefits of BRT for our region.
The Trust's milestone. Congratulations to the Chicago Community Trust on its upcoming 95th anniversary. The Trust was founded on May 12, 1915, by Albert W. Harris and civic leaders with a vision of improving the quality of life in Chicago and the region. Since then, the Trust has granted more than $100 million to nonprofit organizations over the years. CMAP has partnered with the Trust many times, including on the Regional Indicators project and the human and community development Strategy Papers.
CW call for presentations. On November 4, 2010, Chicago Wilderness is hosting its bi-annual Congress, this year's theme is "biodiversity conservation." CW has issued a call for presentations for interested speakers.
Smart Meters. If you live in Bellwood, Berwyn, Broadview, Forest Park, Hillside, Maywood, Melrose Park, Oak Park, River Forest, or Humboldt Park (Chicago), then you have a new digital electric meter. Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) Energy is doing a series of presentations to local groups to help ComEd customers understand what this new "smart meter" means for them and how a new website coming in June might help them lower their energy usage and monthly bills. If you'd like CNT to speak to your organization or community group, please contact Gail Philbin (email@example.com or 773-269-4067). For more information about smart meters, visit www.ComEd.com/smartmeter or http://www.cntenergy.org/. The next presentation will be held on May 6 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Melrose Park Public Library and is open to the public.
GO TO 2040 blog. Our Monday Flickr Photo featured a dockside retreat at Pistakee Lake. Diana Torres wrote a summary of the FLIP Housing and Land Use group's final presentation. We shared projections by MPC on the benefits of high-speed rail coming to Illinois, and Lindsay Banks wrote about an exciting new program where area farmers are selling produce at Illinois Tollway oases.
Media archive. CMAP press coverage in the past two weeks included stories about the $25 million energy efficiency award and a range of transportation stories. The CMAP media archive is updated every other Tuesday.
Recovery blog. This week we posted an ARRA Implementation Spotlight on Schaumburg's plans for its energy efficiency grant, as well as the announcement of TIGER II grants. The first round of transportation grants were funded through the stimulus, and the new $600 million round of funding continues to support projects that will create jobs and increase economic activity.
Soles and Spokes. This week, CMAP's bike-ped blog announced Bike to Work Week. Our blog also notifies readers of two new bills passed by the Illinois General Assembly and that are awaiting signature of Governor Quinn. One allows local communities the statutory framework to lower speed limits on certain roads. The other clarifies the duty of motorists to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. Finally, we alerted project implementers to the opportunity to receive federal funding under the TIGER II program.
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). Early bird registration ends May 14.
Transport Chicago. On June 4, the 25th Annual Transport Chicago Conference is being held. James Corless, director of Transportation for America, is the keynote speaker.