Posted on July 16, 2010 2:01 PM
Weekly Update, 7-16-10
Table of Contents
GO TO 2040 comment period. We're in the last few weeks of the GO TO 2040 draft plan public comment period, which ends August 6. We will then make final changes in preparation for the CMAP Board and MPO Policy Committee to vote on its approval on October 13. If you haven't already, please take some time to review and comment.
Congestion pricing in the news. On Tuesday, the Tribune's Richard Wronski wrote about congestion pricing, specifically the new federally funded study by the Illinois Tollway and Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) mentioned in last week's update. As pointed out in the Invest Strategically in Transportation section of GO TO 2040, implementation of congestion pricing on various parts of the transportation network will enhance mobility and also help fund needed improvements.
Rail and air quality. Also on Tuesday, CMAP hosted a meeting of railroads and advocacy groups to discuss how the railroads are working to improve air quality, and what further steps can be taken. Cheryl Newton, director of U.S. EPA Region 5’s Air and Radiation Division, urged attendees to continue working together. At the event, CMAP’s Patricia Berry noted the importance of freight initiatives, including CREATE, in the GO TO 2040 recommendations for regional mobility and economic vitality.
Save the date: CW Congress. On November 4, Chicago Wilderness (CW) will host its seventh Biennial Congress. The event will allow CW members and partner organizations to share expertise, create partnerships, and identify opportunities to work together in the future. More details and registration information will be available this summer.
Other News and Announcements
Managing stormwater. The Illinois EPA recently submitted a report, "Using Green Infrastructure to Manage Urban Stormwater Quality: A Review of Selected Practices and State Programs," to the Governor and Illinois General Assembly. The report was completed by the University of Illinois at Chicago with the help of CMAP and the Center for Neighborhood Technology. Read more about the report at the Aledo Times Record.
Best places to live. Congratulations to Bolingbrook, Naperville, Arlington Heights, and Mount Prospect for being among Money Magazine's Top 100 "Best Places to Live."
Wildlife refuge. Work by the Openland Institute's Lenore Beyer-Clow is highlighted in a Trib story today about the proposed Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge.
Revising the farm stand. The Tribune had a story this week about how some local farmers' markets, many of which serve areas with few grocery stores are trying to cater to their shoppers’ tastes. This means providing a selection of vegetables familiar to customers with varying ethnic backgrounds, working to educate shoppers on new foods, or even changing market times or practices to coincide with other community events (such as church services) or payment needs (like accepting LINK cards).
Discover the undiscovered. On July 26, submissions are due for the "What Makes Your Place Great? Your Secret Corner of Chicagoland" contest being sponsored by the MPC and Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF). Submit a photo or video and 250-word-or-less description of your favorite undiscovered public space in the region to win a prize package and a chance to have your space featured in a CAF tour in October 2010.
GO TO 2040 blog. Lindsay Banks wrote about her experiences helping out a local organic farmer at Genesis Growers and about the pending arrival of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Chicago.
Green Signals. CMAP has a new blog, Green Signals, which covers all matters related to transportation operations. This week features an introduction to the blog, updated 2009 Chicago expressway performance measures, and information regarding the Illinois Route 59 Expansion Project and open house. The updated 2009 Chicago expressway performance measures include congestion scans, travel time index, planning time index, and congested hours. The Illinois Route 59 Expansion Project and open house gave interested parties and residents an opportunity to learn about diverging diamond interchanges (DDI), an innovative design that is being considered for the I-88/Route 59 interchange. See today's Naperville Sun for a story about the interchange.
Soles and Spokes. This week, CMAP’s bike-ped blog alerted readers to the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals' upcoming webinar on evolving best practices in the creation of bicycle boulevards and neighborhood greenways. The blog also informed readers of the ability to download all webinars in the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center's “Livable Communities” series for free. The series is designed to encourage safe walking and bicycling as a viable means of transportation and physical activity. And finally, we highlighted a local success story to encourage interest in bikeable communities -- and have good, healthy fun -- through house-hunting by bike.
GO TO 2040 open houses. Our open houses continue during the draft GO TO 2040 comment period, which ends August 6, 2010. Next week we are hosting meetings on July 20 in West Central Cook at the Cicero Community Center and on July 21 in Kane County at the Kane County Government Center. Evanston Now published an article about a GO TO 2040 presentation that was given to the city's Plan Commission on July 14.
Visioning Aurora. The City of Aurora, in collaboration with CMAP and MPC, is conducting a visioning and planning process regarding the development of the City's near east side. The third and final workshop will be held on July 22, from 6:00 to 8:30 P.M. at the Fred Rodgers Community Center
CMAP GO TO 2040 webinars for CW members. As part of the draft GO TO 2040 plan comment period, CMAP and Chicago Wilderness (CW) are hosting two identical webinars that will provide CW members with an overview of GO TO 2040 and a summary of the work undertaken to date to ensure that principles of the CW Green Infrastructure Vision are effectively integrated into the plan. The webinars will be on July 23 at 10:00 a.m. and July 26 at 1:00 p.m. Space is limited. Reserve your webinar seat now. Contact Chris Mulvaney at email@example.com for more information.
Green tools. On July 27, CMAP and the U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC) Illinois Chapter's State and Local Government Committee will host a workshop, "Going Green & Paying for It: Green Tools for Municipalities." The workshop will offer useful information on how municipal leaders and others can save energy and money through green building practices, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. The event features two panel discussions and runs from 8:00 a.m. to noon. The cost to USBGC members and government agencies is $10 and $20 for others. For questions, contact Lori Heringa (312-386-8621 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Economic Census Data Conference. Learn how to use the newest economic data to locate business markets, assist local businesses, gauge competitiveness, and evaluate industry growth at a free conference featuring experts from the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the only conference scheduled in Illinois as part of a national tour by Census staff. On Monday, August 2, from 9:00 a.m. to noon, CMAP will host the event in our offices at Suite 800 of Willis Tower, 233 S. Wacker Dr., Chicago. Contact Jon Hallas (email@example.com or 312-386-8764) or register online.
Water-Energy Roundtable. MPC and Openlands will host a roundtable titled "Down the Drain, Up in Smoke: Exploring the Water-Energy Nexus in the Chicago Region" from noon to 1:30 p.m. on August 3. The location is the MPC Conference Center, 140 S. Dearborn, Suite 1400, Chicago. Register online for the event, which costs $15 for MPC donors and $30 for all others. You should also have a look at GO TO 2040's recommendation to Manage and Conserve Water and Energy Resources.
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).