Posted on July 11, 2008 4:33 AM
Weekly update, 7/11/08
Weekly Update, 7/11/08
CMAP Board recap. The Board met this past Wednesday and saw a presentation about the new report "Regional Water Demand Scenarios for Northeastern Illinois: 2005-2050," which was prepared for CMAP and the Regional Water Supply Plannning Group by the Southern Illinois University department of geography and environmental resources. Click here to download the document, and here to read the CMAP news release. Coverage of the report appeared Crain's, the Daily Herald, the Northwest Herald, and a long segment on WBEZ. Tim did an excellent job presenting this to our Board and to the media outlets. Unfortunately, our northeastern Illinois water supply initiative was part of the $2,146,000 statewide water supply study cut yesterday to help balance the State of Illinois budget. This means that, even if our region were to independently keep the effort alive without State support, our plan completion could be in jeopardy because the Illinois State Water Survey's effort was part of the budget cut. We will work with our partners and members of the General Assembly to ensure funding for this vital effort.
Also on the Board agenda was a letter by Chairman Gerald Bennett (178KB PDF) that was sent following the meeting to members of the General Assembly regarding HB6339 and the proposed capital program. As the letter points out, there has been a serious shortage of details about how the capital funding would be spent and how projects would be selected. CMAP staff tried hard to locate that information, which is nowhere to be found in HB6339. After the Board meeting, we did find through a blog link this series of Illinois Works charts (88KB PDF) that are a step in the right direction, but they show only how funding would break down by major categories, again, without anything about the project selection process. Crain's ran an article that pretty fairly summarized our view, although the headline failed to indicate that our concerns are directed at legislators as well as the Administration. As Mayor Bennett's letter states, "For a capital bill to be passed, accountability and transparency are essential; without either one, the other isn't possible." I remain hopeful that this will be achieved, but until it is, we're going to keep pushing.
In less contentious news, the Board approved unanimously a resolution (94KB PDF) to support the City of Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
FLIP participants selected. The Board also heard about our first "class" in CMAP's new Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP) program. We are pleased to announce that 36 young men and women from across northeastern Illinois have been chosen to participate. They will represent our diverse region, including 11 from the City of Chicago, six from Suburban Cook, five from Will, four from DuPage, four from Lake, three from McHenry, two from Kane, and one from Kendall. The FLIP youth will include 19 females and 17 males representing 29 different schools. All of the 2008-09 FLIP students have been notified and will receive acceptance packets next week. FLIP is a leadership development opportunity where students can contribute to a better future for our region by learning more about planning. Participants will share their thoughts with other teens from the 7-county area and meet and interact with selected regional leaders -- including CMAP Board members -- who make key planning decisions in our communities. Please note that we will add more participants from the collar counties, so refer any potentially interested rising high school sophomores or juniors to Diana Torres (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8774).
Greening the suburbs. As part of Chicago Matters, WBEZ this week finds an affirmative answer to the question: Is it possible to be "green" in the suburbs? Initiated and funded by The Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Matters is an annual exploration, via television, radio, print and community dialogue, of an issue of broad concern to the Chicago region.
Biking in Stockholm. Staff of the Metropolitan Planning Council were part of the delegation I was fortunate to join recently in visiting Stockholm. They have posted text and photo impressions of that city's bicycle network, usage of which has more than doubled in the past decade. The writeup is part of MPC's bi-weekly "Talking Transit" bulletin.
CAN-TV interviews. TV viewers in the City of Chicago will soon be able to see a pair of CMAP interviews on CAN-TV public access cable channels. External relations staff member Diana Torres and I taped separate segments describing the agency activities, including the GO TO 2040 campaign. Diana's interview was conducted in Spanish, and next week we'll be posting a number of new web pages in Spanish, including a version of the GO TO 2040 survey. The CAN-TV segments will air on Channels 19 and 21 starting next weekend.