Posted on June 25, 2010 1:59 PM
Weekly Update, 6-25-10
Table of Contents
MPC annual luncheon recap. The Metropolitan Planning Council held its annual luncheon this week, featuring the U.S. Senate candidates from Illinois. The first question posed was whether the candidates support regional planning, CMAP, and the GO TO 2040 plan in particular. You can see their responses to that and other issues at the Council's website and in a story by the Chicago Agent real estate magazine.
Mayor Bennett on Comcast Political Update. CMAP Board chairman Gerald Bennett appeared this week on Comcast's Political Update, which highlighted his service to the region and to Palos Hills as its mayor for the past three decades. We hope to have a DVD copy soon for posting to the web.
Yellow Line groundbreaking. On June 21, Skokie officials broke ground on the Oakton Street Station on CTA's Yellow Line, read more about it in this article from the Skokie Review. Of the roughly $20 million construction cost, $14.5 million is funded through CMAP's Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program. The new station is adjacent to the Illinois Science + Technology Park, a research campus with firms employing 1,000 people. This is a fine example of increasing access to transit and transit-supportive land use, two major priorities of GO TO 2040.
Freight workshop. From July 21 to 23, 2010, the Northwestern University Transportation Center Executive Program will host a workshop, Freight Transportation: Strategies for a Changing Landscape. The workshop is aimed at decision makers and investors in transportation and logistics, with topics such as global freight marketplace size, scope, and complexity; customer perspectives on emerging trends and needs in logistics; and understanding carrier prices. Register online.
Congestion pricing roundtable. On July 8, MPC will host a roundtable, The Road Less Traveled: Understanding Congestion Pricing. The federal government is testing several programs across the country to combat bottlenecks, and Jeffrey Lindley will address congestion reduction strategies under consideration by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Other panelists include Nick Thompson, director of policy analysis, research, and innovation at the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Kristi Lafleur, executive director of the Illinois Tollway. The panel is from noon to 1:30 p.m., and registration is available online. The Invest Strategically in Transportation section of GO TO 2040 recommends implementing congestion pricing to provide an incentive for some drivers to alter their travel behavior.
Other News and Announcements
HUD and U.S. DOT collaborate. On June 21, it was announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will collaborate to award up to $75 million in funding -- $35 million in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) II Planning Grants and $40 million in Sustainable Community Challenge Grants. The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) is online. This is a great opportunity for local governments, and it's the type of collaboration encouraged in the GO TO 2040 recommendation area to Pursue Coordinated Investments. CMAP and our private, philanthropic and civic regional partners would like hear about your intent to apply so that we can potentially assist in the application process by lining up additional technical assistance, facilitating partnerships, and identifying additional leverage opportunities, if and where appropriate. Click here to let us know of your intention to apply for these funds.
New transportation grants available. On June 21, $80 million in federal funds became available for award to communities for local streetscape, trails, and beautification projects that are designed to "expand travel choices and improve the transportation experience in Illinois." The grants are available through the 2010 Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) and are expected to create or sustain 870 future jobs in the state.
Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant. On June 24, HUD announced that $100 million is available for Regional Planning grants that will be awarded competitively to multi-jurisdictional and multi-sector partnerships as well as regional consortia consisting of state and local governments, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), educational institutions, non-profit organizations and philanthropic organizations. The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) is online. Staff is currently reviewing the notice and more information is forthcoming.
Redevelopment trends. Blair Kamin of the Tribune writes about efforts to redevelop suburban malls. He believes the results have been mixed, as developers attempt to create walkable environments in areas that were previously (and in some cases are currently) accessible primarily by car.
Local food in the Big Apple. The New York Times ran an interesting article about local farming in two very different places in New York -- the urban South Bronx and rural Schoharie County -- which are linked in a project to provide healthy food to the poorest Congressional district east of the Mississippi. This is relevant to GO TO 2040, which promotes sustainable local food production and access to fresh, nutritious, and affordable foods.
GO TO 2040 blog. For our weekly Flickr photo, we chose one of a group of nature explorers, both young and old, at the Volo Bog in western Lake County. We also posted the next interview in our "My 2040" series featuring Michael Lambert, an architect in Will County who discussed historic preservation.
Recovery blog. We are still seeking your opinion on a short survey we've posted to help us transition the Economic Recovery Update newsletter to include topics on policies and programs related to GO TO 2040. Your responses will allow us to make the new updates most useful for you.
Soles and Spokes. This week, CMAP's bike-ped blog alerted readers to the publication of the new edition of the Chicagoland Bike Map. This is the fifth edition of the map, produced by Active Transportation Alliance with the help of volunteers throughout the region. We also announced the launch of Minneapolis' bike sharing program, Nice Ride, the nation's largest bike sharing system to date. We informed readers of the final version of the revisions to IDOT's BDE Manual, to be incorporated in order to implement the Illinois Complete Streets law. And finally, we blogged about the City of Chicago's plans to integrate bike parking and public art.
Have your say. The draft GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan remains available for public comment through August 6, 2010. Have your say by commenting or attending one of the CMAP open houses across the region this summer. Our next one is at the Kendall County Health Department on June 29, 2010, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Green webinar. On July 6, CMAP will host a webinar, "What Does Green Mean? Recognizing the Real Deal in Products, Processes, and Purchasing" at 10:00 a.m. (CDT). Participants will learn how to tell when products are truly green versus those just claiming to be (known as "greenwashing"), as well as about an innovative green firm and a regional web resource to help find the products you're looking for. Register now or contact Lori Heringa (312-386-8621 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
FLIP deadline extended. We've extended the application deadline for Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP) to August 13. FLIP is our high school leadership development program for students interested in learning about and contributing to a better future for our region. Please continue to pass along applications to any potentially interested high schoolers (or their families and teachers).