Posted on August 20, 2010 2:03 PM
Weekly Update, 8-20-10
Table of Contents
Save the date: GO TO 2040 launch. Following the October 13 joint meeting at which the CMAP Board and MPO Policy Committee will vote on adoption of the region's new comprehensive plan, please save the date to help officially launch GO TO 2040's implementation phase at 11:00 a.m. on October 13, 2010. RSVP by September 15 to email@example.com, and location details will follow later this month. This event will be to thank and inspire all of you who have contributed to the plan's development, and who will now help CMAP to lead its implementation.
RTA news. As you've probably heard by now, this week the Regional Transportation Authority announced that its board had elected John Gates as the new Chairman. Congratulations to Mr. Gates, and we at CMAP look forward to many opportunities to work together on behalf of residents across our region.
Global cities. On Foreign Policy magazine's ranking of the world's "top global cities," Chicago moved up two spots to sixth place, behind only New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, and Hong Kong (and ahead of Los Angeles, Singapore, Sydney, and Seoul). That's some good company to be keeping.
GO TO 2040 in the news. I spoke with Midwest Construction's Mike Larson about the GO TO 2040 plan and its emphasis on redevelopment of existing space. To learn more about redevelopment goals, take a look at the plan section Acheive Greater Livability Through Land Use and Housing.
America’s Great Outdoors listening sessions. On Monday, August 30, representatives of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Council on Environmental Quality, and other agencies will hold a listening session on issues and opportunities in parks and open space conservation as part of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. Federal officials are seeking input on the challenges faced in parks and open space conservation, effective examples, ideas on the appropriate federal role, and the need for more tools and resources. The session will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Field Museum's Simpson Theater. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit verbal or written comments during this session. Comments can also be submitted at http://www.doi.gov/americasgreatoutdoors/. On August 31, another two listening sessions will be held to gather input on the relationship between health and the outdoors. Discussion will include active and passive recreation, barriers to access, and new ideas, opportunities, and solutions for enhancing healthy living outdoors for all Americans. One session is for the general public and will be held at Northwestern University School of Law from 8:30 to 12:30 p.m., while the other session is intended for youth and will be held at Prentice Women’s Hospital from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Designing park playgrounds for nature-oriented play. There is good evidence that most outdoor experiences in the United States begin at local neighborhood parks. While they may be the greenest spaces in a neighborhood, playgrounds still may not promote nature discovery or unstructured outdoor play. At a workshop at Morton Arboretum in Lisle on September 17, learn why outdoor unstructured play is critical to children's healthy development. Other topics include the key issues in planning and designing nature play-oriented playgrounds and evaluating the benefits and costs of creating small- and large-scale nature play areas. The workshop will include a tour of a model outdoor space promoting nature discovery and play. This Chicago Wilderness workshop is meant for park district and local government officials, as well as others who influence the kinds of experiences offered at playgrounds. The workshop will be held from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Call 630-719-2468 to register. Advance registration costs $10; walk-in registration costs $12. For questions and comments about the workshop, please contact Angelique Dunning at 630-719-2462.
Asset management workshop. On September 17, the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) will host "Demystifying Asset Management: Everything You Need to Get Started." This one-day workshop will review international best asset management practices and provide a practical guide to developing approaches that will optimize the intervention time to deliver best value to consumers while minimizing water losses. Located in downtown Chicago, the workshop will provide a one-time opportunity to learn from one of the world's leading experts on this topic, Jo Parker. The cost is $35 per attendee and will include morning coffee, lunch and workshop materials. Download the agenda for a look at the program. To register for this event contact Jeffrey Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive education courses. The Northwestern University Transportation Center offers a series of three-day executive education courses for transportation and logistics professionals. From September 14 to 16, "Coping with Carbon: Sustainable Strategies for the Transportation and Logistics Enterprise" will be held. From October 12 to 14, "Freight Transportation: Strategies for a Changing Landscape" will be held. From October 18 to 20, "Pricing Transportation Infrastructure" will be held.
IEPA sessions reminder. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) is hosting informational sessions on new requirements from Public Act 96-1416 on Clean Construction and Demolition Debris (CCDD) and Uncontaminated Soil. Two sessions will be held at the IEPA Des Plaines Regional Office on August 26, 2010, the first from 9:00 a.m. to noon and the second from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Capacity is limited, so RSVP to email@example.com.
Other News and Announcements
CNT working with Walk Score. The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) has integrated its Housing + Transportation Affordability Index with data from the online tool Walk Score to enable users to get accurate information on how transportation options (including pedestrian and bike access) affect important factors like commute times and housing costs. The H+T Index presents housing and transportation cost data for neighborhoods in 337 metro areas, including Chicagoland, and works with an API to allow partner sites, such as Walk Score, to integrate transportation costs with their own interface. This is a wonderful example of how data sharing can improve decision making, planning, and quality of life within a region, which motivates the draft GO TO 2040 plan’s call for better Access to Information.
Suburbs and neighborhoods map. The August 22 edition of the Tribune will have a poster map based on their interesting series "10 things you might not know about Chicago and the suburbs." This teaser asks a question we've often wondered about: When someone asks where you're from, how do you answer?
New ED at ATA. The Active Transportation Alliance (ATA) recently hired Ron Burke as its new executive director. Ron was a big proponent for the use of federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) funds for use on bike-ped projects (CMAP programs CMAQ funding for the region). Gapers Block interviewed ATA board president Jane Healy about the appointment, and Trib Local interviewed Burke about his new appointment.
MPC on GO TO 2040. The Metropolitan Planning Council's (MPC) Joanna Trotter blogged about their support for CMAP and GO TO 2040. As we move rapidly toward implementation of the plan, MPC will "continue to advocate not only for a strong regional plan, but also for new funding sources, smarter use of existing resources, more strategic deployment of technical assistance, and better use of project selection criteria that can support communities as they plan for the future."
Carbon sequestration. The Great Lakes may be absorbing the same amount of carbon dioxide that they are “exhaling” according to this article in the Chicago Tribune. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin found that Lake Michigan acts as a carbon sink from late Spring until October and as a carbon source for the remainder of the year. Carbon sequestration, or removal of carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in reservoirs, can also happen through trees. One of the recommendations of GO TO 2040 in the Manage and Conserve Energy and Water Resources section calls for tree preservation and urban forestry programs for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
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).
Green signals. This week, CMAP’s transportation operations blog informed readers about two recently released reports, Statewide Opportunities for Integrating Operations, Safety, and Multimodal Planning: A Reference Manual; and Bus and Rail Transit Preferential Treatments in Mixed Traffic. The reference manual identifies opportunities for the integration of operations, safety, and multimodal planning activities at varying levels of decision making and highlights the importance of multidisciplinary teams, the use of performance measures, and data sharing, collection, and analysis. The blog also highlighted the recently released Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 83: Bus and Rail Transit Preferential Treatments in Mixed Traffic. This report examined the different applications such as transit signal priority, exclusive transit lanes, and others for transit preferential treatments in mixed traffic.
Soles and Spokes. This week, CMAP’s bike-ped planning blog alerted readers of the third in a series of eight webinars being offered by Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC). The series is entitled “Designing for Pedestrian Safety” and this week’s webinar addressed pedestrian safety considerations at intersections that don't have signals. We informed readers of an important new report on the liability aspects of bikeways and the small legal risks incurred by public entities in providing or designating them. The blog introduced a new searchable database of bike maps and reminded readers of the upcoming Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference being held next month in Chattanooga, TN.