Posted on July 30, 2010 2:02 PM
Weekly Update, 7-30-10
Table of Contents
Public comment ends August 6. To allow CMAP staff time to prepare the final GO TO 2040 plan for consideration by the CMAP Board and MPO Policy Committee at their joint meeting on October 13, the comment period on our region's draft comprehensive plan will end one week from today. Through August 6, 2010, residents can comment on-line, through an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, in written form (ATTN: CMAP GO TO 2040 Draft Plan Comments, 233 South Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606), or using CMAP's general contact form. Feedback has also been accepted at a number of open houses around the region, the last of which will be at the CMAP offices from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 3.
Suburban support for transit spending. The Chicago Tribune recently conducted a poll that found "most suburbanites support investing more in mass transit than roads." Reasons for this include stress associated with congestion, the high price of gasoline, and environmental benefits. Habits are changing as well, and many residents are using suburban train and bus services and driving less. Here are more results of the poll, which reinforces what we heard from residents during last year's "Invent the Future" phase of public outreach that helped shape the draft GO TO 2040 plan's recommendation to Increase Commitment to Public Transit.
GO TO 2040 in the news. This week, Gapers Block wrote about the plan, focusing on the Efficient Governance chapter and its recommendations for state and local tax policy. The Examiner also wrote about the public meetings we've been hosting this summer, including this week's meeting in Palos Hills, where mayor (and CMAP Board chairman) Gerald Bennett attended and answered questions.
Freight workshop rescheduled. The Northwestern University Transportation Center Executive Program will host a workshop, Freight Transportation: Strategies for a Changing Landscape, which is rescheduled from its original July dates to October 12 through 14. 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.
Other News and Announcements
CMAP and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG). This week, CMAP’s Tim Loftus spoke to the Site Review Team responsible for evaluating and making recommendations on the IISG program. For the past two years, CMAP has partnered with the IISG program and University of Illinois Extension to support the work of water resource economist Margaret Schneemann, who assisted with CMAP’s Water 2050. In his talk, Tim stressed the role of CMAP in regional planning, the success of the CMAP-IISG partnership over the past two years, and the continued importance of regional collaboration in meeting shared goals for our region.
Green tools workshop recap. On July 27, CMAP and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Illinois Chapter held “Going Green and Paying for It,” a set of panel discussions focusing on green buildings, energy efficiency, renewable energy, funding, and other resources to support these initiatives. The City of Evanston served as a case study to exemplify sustainable practices and process to receive funding. Presentations were given by Doug Widener, USGBC Illinois Chapter; Jamie Peters, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance; Peter Matuszewski, Windy City Renewable Energy LLC; Bob Romo, Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation; Kate Tomford, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Becky Werra, Siemens Industry; and Wally Bobkiewicz, City Manager of the City of Evanston. Stay tuned for future USGBC and CMAP collaborations to bring local governments opportunities to learn more about green building and sustainable neighborhood development practices.
Planning newsletter. The Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development's Municipal Design Review Network distributes quarterly newsletters with news, events, and best practices that should be of interest to local officials and planners. Read the summer issue, along with archived newsletters, online.
Visioning Aurora. The City of Aurora has completed its visioning and planning process regarding the development of the City's near east side, which was done in collaboration with CMAP and the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC). Participants in the series of three workshops hope the city will use $1.3 million in Community Development Block Grant funds to "increase owner-occupied housing and bring in some health care centers," according to the Daily Herald. The Beacon-News also wrote an article about the workshops.
Green jobs award. The nonprofit Green for All is sponsoring a new Green Jobs Award Program with support from the Citi Foundation, SJF Advisory Services, and the Rockefeller Foundation. The program is intended to honor companies that are making significant contributions to both the economy and environment through the create of green jobs. Applications are due August 31.
Green Signals. This week CMAP’s transportation operations blog informed readers about the 2010 Traffic Incident Management Handbook. The handbook explores advances in traffic incident management (TIM) programs and practices. The blog also highlighted the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 140: A Guide for Planning and Operating Flexible Public Transportation Services, which explores the types of flexible transportation service strategies that are potentially appropriate for small, medium, and large urban and rural transit agencies.
Soles and Spokes. CMAP’s bike-ped blog has posted a TRB request for consultant letters of interest to conduct a survey and synthesis documenting the regulatory, financial, and administrative tools used by communities to create vibrant pedestrian networks. The deadline for responses is August 12, 2010. We also blogged about recent events and actions in McHenry County that demonstrate the County’s and its Board’s commitment to invest in bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure. We noted that much of their funding was obtained through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program. Finally, we alerted readers to the upcoming PBIC webinar on sidewalk design.
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 the Willis Tower. Contact Jon Hallas (email@example.com or 312-386-8764) or register online.
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, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Register online. Contact Jon Hallas (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8764) with questions.
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).