Posted on July 23, 2010 2:01 PM
Weekly Update, 7-23-10
Table of Contents
Mayor Bennett on Comcast Political Update. You can now visit YouTube to watch CMAP Board chairman Gerald Bennett's recent appearance on Comcast's Political Update. Our YouTube channel has a growing archive of CMAP and GO TO 2040 video content.
GO TO 2040 in the news. This week the New York Times featured an article on GO TO 2040 by the Chicago News Cooperative's Tom Hundley. I was also quoted in an article by Marni Pyke of the Daily Herald about the economic and job creation impacts of transportation projects. The Chicagoist blog also wrote about the GO TO 2040 plan and its vision for the future, musing that livable communities probably don't include the mayhem that the Transformers 3 movie shoot brought to Chicago's Magnificent Mile over the past two weeks.
Traffic deaths drop. CMAP has released a new report with analysis of IDOT highway traffic safety data, showing a substantial reduction in fatalities and serious injuries since 2002. The Tribune's Jon Hilkevitch featured it Monday in his Getting Around column, and Chicago Public Radio also aired a short segment.
Use your comprehensive plan to generate funding. Well-written comprehensive plans can be the foundation for federal grants. For example, your vision for investing in brownfield redevelopment, public health, affordable housing or economic development can tip the odds in your favor to win funds for your village. Set aside time for this free webinar “How Can Your Community’s Plan Yield Federal Dollars?” on Tuesday, August 3, 2010, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Register online. Contact Jon Hallas (firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 386-8764) with questions.
GO TO 2040 out and about. This Sunday, CMAP will host a booth at the Pilsen Community Market to talk about GO TO 2040. We'll be giving away reusable bags with information, so be sure to stop by and learn more about the plan.
Other News and Announcements
Grant award for retrofits. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded $30 million to energy-efficient housing partnerships across the country, one of which is in our own region. Congratulations to the Partnership for Advanced Residential Retrofit (PARR), led by the Gas Technology Institute of Des Plaines with team members CNT Energy, the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and others. The team will "focus on improving performance, quality, and market acceptance of residential retrofits in cold climates," according to the announcement from July 20. These grants are designed to support DOE's Retrofit Ramp-Up Initiative, through which CMAP and partners were awarded $25 million to start the Chicago Retrofit Ramp-up (CR3) program.
New brownfields grant opportunity. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) issued the proposed Brownfields Grant guidelines for FY 2011, featuring several changes that seek to embrace the livability principles of the new Sustainable Communities Initiative. CMAP, in partnership with the U.S. EPA, encourages local governments to take advantage of these funding opportunities. For more information about the grant, click here. The GO TO 2040 section Promote Sustainable Local Food recommends the usage of brownfield remediation funding to support local community gardens and farmers' markets. To learn about research CMAP conducted on brownfields, visit its strategy report online.
Governing magazine. Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) chief Richard Rodriguez was featured on the cover of this month's Governing magazine. The article highlights Rodriguez's work for both the City and CTA during tough financial times.
Workforce development in Chicago. The Philadelphia Business Journal wrote a thoughtful article on workforce development in Chicago and the importance of data in identifying needs in the system. GO TO 2040's section Improve Education and Workforce Development emphasizes the need for a strong workforce development system in our region, and the plan recommendation on Access to Information describes how the availability of data can help our region's economy.
Farms and the housing slump. The Kane County Chronicle wrote an interesting article about impacts of the depressed housing market on farm land value. As foreclosures increased in the past few years, land values decreased, which has allowed farmers to hold onto their land for longer. In some cases, farmers may be able to buy back farm land previously sold to developers. CMAP's Lee Deuben is quoted in the article discussing the importance of communities' rethinking future housing growth.
Housing trends and energy efficiency. A new report by the National Association of Home Builders shows that the average new home size dropped to an average of 2,438 square feet nationwide due much in part to a desire to keep down energy costs, according to a survey completed in 2009. Home buyers often chose single-story homes that were almost 100 square feet smaller in 2009 compared to homes purchased in 2007. Regional differences in energy use, however, point to a trend of overall increased energy usage, especially in the case of air conditioning. See the 2005 report “Residential Energy Consumption Survey” by the Energy Information Administration for more details.
Money for mass transit. On July 22, Governor Quinn announced more than $500 million for "critical mass transit infrastructure improvements throughout Illinois." The funding is provided through the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program and is estimated to create or retain 18,000 jobs while also improving traveler safety.
Green Signals. This week, CMAP’s transportation operations blog informed readers about the upcoming Transportation Safety Advancement Group’s webinar on the multi-agency emergency that occurred in 2009 on the Fort Hood army base in Texas. Also, the blog informed readers about a upcoming transportation workshop sponsored by Traffic & Parking Control Co., Inc. and the Great Lakes Transportation Enterprise Institute. The blog also highlighted a video about the benefits of roundabouts released by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Safety.
Soles and Spokes. This week, CMAP’s bike-ped blog announced an upcoming Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) webinar. It is the first in an eight-part webinar series on pedestrian safety design and planning principles. The webinar is entitled “Introduction to Pedestrian Safety Design and Planning Principles,” and provides an overview of the FHWA/PBIC course "Designing for Pedestrian Safety." We also reported on a new, 1.2-mile 10-foot-wide multi-use path which the Village of Frankfurt in Will County will start work on soon. The path will parallel Sauk Trail Road. Finally, we alerted readers to the publication of a new AASHTO report reviewing our nation’s transportation system and stressing the urgent need to shift trips from private automobiles to transit and non-motorized transportation.
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'll host meetings on July 27 at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills and on July 29 at the Arlington Heights Public Library.
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 email@example.com).
Project Notifications. CMAP issues a monthly Project Notification to apprise state legislators, local government officials, and other interested parties of applications for federal and state grants that may have an impact on their communities. The most recent Project Notifications are available online. For more information, please contact Jamie Krell (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8658).
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. The Metropolitan Planning Council (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).