Posted on September 10, 2010 2:00 PM
Weekly Update, 9-10-10
Table of Contents
CMAP Meetings. The Planning Coordinating Committee, CMAP Board, and the MPO Policy Committee met this week. The major item on their agendas was a review of the recommended changes to the revised draft GO TO 2040 plan based on the Summary & Responses to Public Comments. This was their final opportunity to provide comments on the plan before it is considered for adoption next month. Additionally, an end of the year state legislative wrap-up was presented for discussion. The Planning Coordinating Committee will meet next on September 29, to consider recommending the adoption of GO TO 2040 to the Board and Policy Committee. Finally, the Board and the MPO Policy Committee will meet in a joint meeting on October 13, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. to vote on the adoption of the plan.
Mayor Daley. The biggest news this week was Mayor Daley’s surprising announcement that he would not seek reelection in 2011. Of all his accomplishments, perhaps the most significant was his strong commitment to working with his fellow mayors and other partners to help make our region a better place to live and work. This Tribune article includes several quotes that express what his support has meant to everyone who believes in regional cooperation. All of us at CMAP wish Mayor Daley nothing but the best.
Travel patterns report. CMAP released a new report showing the number of trips underway by time of day, travel mode, and trip purpose. This report uses 2007 Travel Tracker household travel inventory data to compile a picture of weekday travel underway in the Chicago region. The report contains numerous charts illustrating regional household travel behavior.
GO TO 2040 launch event. If you haven't yet, don't forget to RSVP online or by phone at 312-676-7459 for the launch of the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan's implementation phase at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 13, 2010. At this very special event, CMAP and its partners will gather at the Harris Theater's Rooftop Terrace at Millennium Park to launch the plan's all-important implementation phase. Earlier that day, the CMAP Board and MPO Policy Committee will vote on adoption of the plan. This event will be to thank and inspire all who have participated in GO TO 2040 to date and who will now help CMAP to lead its implementation.
Bicycles, pedestrians, and transit webinar. On September 15, 2010, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) will host the webinar “Bicycles, Pedestrians, and Transit” from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. CMAP -- in conjunction with LYKAH Consulting -- will be presenting the webinar at the CMAP offices. The webinar will examine the interconnections and synergies between non-motorized transportation and transit, with presentations by Amanda Woodall of the Active Transportation Alliance, Cynthia Hoyle of Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, and Dustin White of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The presentations will explore the common ground between transit and active transportation professionals and advocates, and will look at ways to overcome institutional challenges to cooperation. Attendance in CMAP offices is limited to the first 20 people who RSVP. Please email Tom Murtha at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot and receive additional information.
RTA budget hearing webinars. The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) will host two 2011 Preliminary Budget Hearing Webinars for individuals to learn about the 2011 budget, updates on state and federal capital funding, and recommended projects for RTA funding programs. The first webinar will take place on September 16 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.; the second will take place on September 22 from noon to 1:00 p.m. Space is limited.
PPP workshop. On Tuesday, September 21, Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) Chicago will be hosting a workshop for public sector procurement officials, private owners, DBIA members, and other design-build professionals. The event will showcase two nationally recognized leaders in design-build and sustainability. For workshop details and registration, click here.
Tollway luncheon. On September 22, the executive director of the Illinois Tollway, Kristi Lafleur, will speak about the current and future state of the Tollway at a luncheon. Ms. Lafleur's remarks will be in the context of CMAP's GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan. Lunch will be provided, sponsored by the Woods Fund of Chicago. RSVP to Jamie Krell (email@example.com or 312-386-8658). The luncheon will be hosted at CMAP offices in the Willis Tower at 233 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago.
Bike planning workshops. On September 23, join experts from the Netherlands for ThinkBike Workshops: A Dutch Boost to Chicago’s Bike-ability. The workshops will bring together Dutch bicycle transportation experts, Chicago area politicians, planners, and bike advocates to discuss how Chicago can become more bike-friendly. WTTW's Geoffrey Baer will emcee the event. The symposium features a keynote speech from Eric Gilliland, executive director of the National Association of City Transportation Officials, on the state of bicycling in Chicago and its opportunities. The event is free and open to the public from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the James Thompson Center located at 100 W. Randolph, Chicago. RSVP is required at www.activetrans.org/dutchbikeplan.
Illinois Green Infrastructure Grant workshop. In mid-September, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) plans to launch a new grant program that will promote the use of green infrastructure to manage stormwater. The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) will host two workshops for prospective applicants to learn more about the program. The first will be held in Chicago on September 29 from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m., the second will be held in Aurora on October 1. For more information, contact Josh Ellis (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-863-6045). CMAP, along with several partners, served on an advisory committee for IEPA that helped shape this grant program.
Sustainability workshop. On September 30 and October 1, the Chicago Community Loan Fund will host its fifth annual Building for Sustainability Workshop. The workshop sessions are designed to help participants build their knowledge of sustainable and affordable housing, energy prices, and the impact of development on the environment. Space is limited, and pre-registration and -payment are required. The workshop costs $65 by September 15, and $75 after that date. Register online or call 312-252-0440 ext. 205 for more information. The workshops will be held at the Chicago Center for Green Technology.
SRTS workshops. Community and school representatives may now register for Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS) "How To" workshops, which will provide background and step-by-step instructions for communities interested in applying for Illinois SRTS funding. The workshops, in Bolingbrook the afternoon of October 7 and in Chicago the morning of October 8, will help communities understand the steps necessary to apply for SRTS funds, federal funds that allow communities to put the infrastructure and programs in place to facilitate walking and cycling to school. Details about the workshops and a link to the registration form are posted at /bike-ped. These brief workshops complement the SRTS community workshops also described on the blog.
Other News and Announcements
Energy Star rebates are back. Illinois residents can receive a discount for purchasing Energy Star-qualified appliances on September 24 starting at 8:00 a.m. through the Illinois Energy Star Applican Rebate Program. Rebates up to $250 per appliance are available for qualified refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, and dishwashers at participating stores. Approximately $3 million in rebate funds are available, and organizers expect funds to run out by the end of the day, according to this press release from the State of Illinois. The State received a total of $12.4 million for the rebate program through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
Bus route study in Lake County. The Lake County Division of Transportation has teamed up with Pace suburban bus service on a study of fixed bus service in the county "to determine ways to improve and hopefully expand bus service," according to the Highland Park News. The study is funded with a $350,000 federal grant through CMAP.
NSP 3 grants awarded. On September 8, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $1 billion in funding to states with counties and local communities "struggling to reverse the effects of the foreclosure crisis," according to this press release. These awards are the third round of funding through HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). Locally awardees include the City of Chicago ($16 million), Cook County ($7.8 million), and Lake County ($1.4 million). The State itself was awarded $5 million; click here for a full list of awardees.
Food deserts explored. Gapersblock.com featured an article on Chicago’s food deserts this week. It contemplates small solutions like bringing farmer’s markets to underserved areas, but notes there are issues of transit (public transportation options to and from farmers markets are limited), economy (pilot programs just began to allow patrons to pay for food with Illinois LINK cards), and a lack of a year-round options when the cold weather sets in. The GO TO 2040 draft plan calls for an elimination of food deserts by promoting sustainable local food production.
Trib column. The Tribune's John McCarron had a good column on Labor Day about the Archimedia Workshop's documentary on Daniel Burnham, with a mention of CMAP and GO TO 2040.
GO TO 2040 blog. CMAP’s Amy Talbot writes about LEED certification and eco-construction in the news lately, including lauds for Chicago’s excellence in this area.
Green Signals. This week, CMAP’s transportation operations blog informed readers about the Information Sharing Guidebook for Transportation Management Centers, Emergency Operations Centers, and Fusion Centers, released by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The blog also informed readers about an upcoming webinar on the Next Generation 9-1-1 What’s Next Forum. Finally, the blog highlighted the Smarter Highways initiative deployed by the Washington State Department of Transportation along the I-5 corridor in Seattle.
Clean Tech conference. Midwest Clean Tech 2010, in conjunction with the 2010 International Manufacturing Technology Show, will be held at Chicago's McCormick Place from September 14 to 15. The program will showcase examples of Clean Technology innovation, products, and services from the Midwest. Register online.
Conservation conversation. The Fox River Ecosystem Partnership (FREP) and Fox Waterway Agency will host FREP’s annual “Conversations about Conservation” legislators forum on September 15, at 1:00 p.m. at Lake Front Park Center in Fox Lake. The program will include Senator Michael Bond, Sierra Club of Illinois Executive Direction Jack Darrin, and other legislators. The program is open to all, and will include time for questions and answers. RSVP to email@example.com.
APA-IL conference. From September 22 to 24, 2010, the Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) will host its fall conference in Normal, IL. Over 30 sessions will be featured on planning topics, ranging from farmland and historical preservation to economic development. Doug Farr, AIA of Farr Associates, is the Keynote Speaker at this year's conference. Register online.
Moving Forward Together. Mercy Housing will host its annual event, Moving Forward Together, on October 5 at Swissotel in Chicago. To address the regional foreclosure and housing crisis, Mercy Housing is working to leverage $1 billion over seven years to facilitate the acquisition, rehab, and reoccupation of 2,500 foreclosed homes; develop or preserve 5,000 affordable apartments, board-up and protect 4,500 vacant homes; and create 8,000 jobs. Purchase tickets for the event online.
Highway program comments. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Division of Highways is seeking comments from regional planning organizations on the proposed 2012-17 multi-year highway program. Comments will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on November 1. Also, at the following meetings, people may comment on specific projects that might be included in the program, the overall performance of the highway system, regional transportation priorities, and the effectiveness of the public outreach program:
- Monday, September 13, 3:00 p.m., Holiday Inn & Conference Center, 800 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake
- Thursday, September 16, 3:00 p.m., College of Lake County, 10351 W. Washington St., Building C, Grayslake
- Tuesday, September 21, 3:00 p.m., IDOT District I Emergency Traffic Control Center, 3501 S. Normal, Chicago
- Wednesday, September 22, 3:00 p.m., South Holland Community Center, 501 E. 170th St., South Holland
- Tuesday, October 5, 4:00 p.m., Lincoln Way High School, 1801 E. Lincoln Hwy., New Lenox
- Wednesday, October 6, 3:00 p.m., Holiday Inn, 4070 E. Main St., St. Charles
Designing park playgrounds for nature-oriented play. Learn why outdoor unstructured play is critical to children's healthy development at a workshop at Morton Arboretum in Lisle on September 17. 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 p.m. 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 in downtown Chicago 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. 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 online. To register, contact Jeffrey Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.