Table of Contents
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 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 begin the plan's all-important implementation phase. Earlier that day, the CMAP Board and MPO Policy Committee will vote on adoption of the plan. I look forward to seeing you at this event, which is intended to thank and inspire all who have participated in GO TO 2040 and who will now help CMAP to lead its implementation.
Interstate 57/294 interchange. On September 20, Governor Quinn and IDOT Secretary Gary Hannig announced the start of reconstruction on the Interstate 57 overpass at Interstate 294. The project costs $28 million and will create and retain more than 350 jobs. Read more in a State of Illinois press release. This project is one of the major GO TO 2040 capital projects, included because it will improve accessibility to and from the south suburbs, as well as north-south regional travel. We are pleased to see progress being made on this project.
Sustainable Communities Initiative. Last month, CMAP submitted an application for the Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI) Regional Planning Grant Program on behalf of our consortium partners. The purpose of the Chicago region’s application is to help aggressively implement the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan. The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) wrote an article about the application's potential for promoting livable communities throughout our region.
Brownfields on the mend. WBEZ’s “Changing Gears” described recent successes in redevelopment of brownfields (former industrial sites, such as abandoned factories, in need of rehabilitation or repurposing). Among several innovative examples, federal incentives helped transform 40 acres in Chicago's Pullman district to the country’s largest urban solar plant run by Exelon. Also, the 560-acre site occupied by the former U.S. Steel Southworks plant was transformed into public spaces, homes, shops, and medical facilities.
BRT brownbag. On October 7 at noon, CMAP will host a special brownbag presentation by Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) expert Cliff Henke. RSVP to Yesenia Ambriz at email@example.com.
CNU-Illinois conference. Also on October 7, the Congress for New Urbanism's Illinois chapter will host its 4th Annual Statewide Conference, Rethinking Stalled Development in Chicago: Where Do We Go From Here? Click here for more information, and registration is available online.
Small Business Week. From October 11 to 15, Crain's Chicago Business will sponsor its first annual Small Business Week. A range of educational and business development activities will be held, including the launch of the Small Business Census, a "data-driven exercise" to show new and interesting findings about small business impact on the overall business community. That week's edition of Crain's will feature a Focus section on small business. Partly because it coincides with the October 13 GO TO 2040 launch, CMAP was pleased to assist Crain's with some data (from Dun & Bradstreet) and analysis that reinforce how important the plan is to our region's economy.
Dearborn Park roundtable. On October 1, DePaul University's Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development will host a roundtable discussion on the development of Dearborn Park, one of the nation's most successful urban renewal projects. The free event is from 5:15 to 7:30 p.m. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Water utility conservation rates workshop. Two interactive workshops on water utility conservation rates in the Great Lakes will be hosted in the Midwest in the next two months. Funded by the Great Lakes Protection fund and led by the Great Lakes Commission, these workshops are targeted for water utility managers/finance officers, public works directors, city managers, and elected/appointed Officials. Attendees will learn why water conservation rates should be part of a sound utility management strategy, identify barriers to changing rates, and understand the benefits of conservation pricing and how to keep water revenues stable. Attendees will also receive a handbook about revising rates. The first will take place on October 12 in Ann Arbor, MI, with the second on November 8 in Racine, WI. The cost of $35 per person includes lunch.
News and Other Announcements
Tollway presentation. Illinois Tollway executive director Kristi Lafleur gave a "State of the Tollway" presentation to more than 60 attendees this past Wednesday. As part of her overview, Kristi highlighted how the Tollway's goals are consistent with GO TO 2040 recommendations. She explained the Tollway’s emphasis on transparency and accountability, regional economic growth, and commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability. Regional coordination and customer service was also highlighted as a major role for the Tollway to improve outreach and coordination in the coming years.
Nominations due next week for affordable housing program. Nominations are due on September 30 for the 2010 Illinois Affordable Housing Awards Program. Nominations are being accepted by the Illinois Housing Task Force for the inaugural round of three awards, which will be presented on October 25 at the Governor's Affordable Housing Conference held in Chicago.
New grant for Illinois farmers. On September 22, Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) director Tom Jennings announced that farmers across the state will receive nearly $650,000 to enhance specialty crops thanks to funding from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program – Farm Bill. While best known for growing corn and soybeans, Illinois is the largest producer of pumpkins in the nation and ranks among the top ten states in the production of other specialty crops such as asparagus, cauliflower, green peas, and lima beans. The state devotes more than 117,000 acres of farmland to growing specialty crops, which produces nearly $137 million in sales for Illinois farmers. Grant recipients include the University of Illinois, Land Connection Foundation, Buffalo Grove Farmer’s Market, the Village of Schaumburg, and FamilyFarmed.org.
New MPO report. The Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida recently released a report discussing the governance, structure, staffing, and operation of MPOs around the country. "Staffing and Administrative Capacity of Metropolitan Planning Organizations" features surveys, interviews, and case studies from 133 MPOs.
Free back issues of CW magazine. Archived issues of Chicago Wilderness magazine are available for free, to obtain copies complete this form and return it to Michelle Mohney at email@example.com by September 29. Old issues are also available online. Magazines will be available for pickup on October 6 and 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. from the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County's Mayslake Peabody Estate.
Green Signals. This week, CMAP’s transportation operations blog, informed readers about the 59th Annual Illinois Traffic Engineering & Safety Conference. The blog also featured the 2009 Urban Congestion Trends: How Operations Is Solving Congestion Problems brochure released by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Operations.
Soles and Spokes. Training, training, training! This week, CMAP’s bike-ped planning blog announced several upcoming training opportunities for municipal and county officials, school administrators, planners, and engineers around the region. Three of these training opportunities are focused on Safe Routes to School (SRTS), and a fourth (a Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center [PBIC] webinar) focuses pedestrian safety at signalized intersections. The first post highlights the CMAP-sponsored SRTS Community workshops, in which CMAP is working with a consultant team to present the SRTS National Course in eight communities around the region. Another, focused on “how to apply” for Illinois SRTS funding, is jointly sponsored by CMAP and IDOT and will be held in two locations, CMAP offices and in the Village of Bolingbrook, in October. The blog also announced upcoming IDOT webinars on SRTS for those who can’t travel. And finally, we notified readers of the fifth of eight webinars in the PBIC webinar series “Designing for Pedestrian Safety,” on signalized intersections.
Green Future of Lake County. On September 30, the Friends of Ryerson Woods will host a panel discussion, The Green Future of Lake County, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. I will join Jerry Weber, president of the College of Lake County, and Tom Hahn, executive director of the Lake County Forest Preserve District, on the panel, which will be moderated by George Ranney, president and CEO of Chicago Metropolis 2020. Register online for the event, which costs $15.
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.
Stormwater management grants. Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are due December 15, 2010, for the Illinois Green Infrastructure Grant Program for Stormwater Management (IGIG), with approximately $5 million in funding available. The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) will host three workshops for prospective applicants to learn more about the program. The first, to be held in Chicago on September 29 from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m., is at capacity. The second will be held in Aurora on October 1, and a third workshop was added on October 8 in East Hazel Crest. For more information, contact Josh Ellis of MPC (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. Additional information can be found 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.
Water forum. From 8:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on October 22, CMAP and Wildman Harrold will co-host a forum titled “New Challenges Facing Municipal Water Suppliers.” This is the first in a series of discussion forums that seek to follow up on key issues highlighted in Water 2050, the northeastern Illinois regional water supply/demand plan. Representatives of U.S. EPA and IEPA are scheduled to participate. Check the next Weekly Update for an agenda.
Pedestrian Safety Workshops. From October 26 to 27 and October 28 to 29, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will be conducting two two-day workshops, “Designing Streets for Pedestrian Safety,” in the Chicago area. These IDOT- and CMAP-sponsored workshops will address pedestrian safety issues through design and engineering solutions. Instructors will cover the significance of land-use, sidewalk and walkway design, signs, signals, and crosswalks. Participants will also take part in a field exercise at a nearby intersection. These workshops, funded by FHWA, will be an opportunity for planners and engineers to learn about strategies for addressing pedestrian crashes and design-related barriers to pedestrian travel in our communities. Information about the workshops is posted at www.cmap.illinois.gov/bike-ped/pedestrian-and-bicycle-safety. The first will be hosted in Schaumburg, and the second will take place in CMAP's offices in the Tower. PDH units are available for this course for the engineering community.
SRTS workshops underway. CMAP is working with Active Trans and TY Lin International to present the Safe Routes National Course in eight northeastern Illinois communities. The courses are community-based workshops bringing together schools, local agencies, and communities to plan for safe routes to school at the community level. CMAP is presenting these workshops to assist northeastern Illinois communities in the development of School Travel Plans, a requirement for applying for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funding. To date, workshops have been scheduled in Elmhurst, Tinley Park, Lynwood, Winfield, Batavia, and Steger from September 10 through October 22. Information about attending these workshops, scheduling a workshop for your community, and attending related “how to apply for safe routes funding” workshops is posted at www.cmap.illinois.gov/bikeped/bikeped.aspx. The Illinois SRTS program is a federally funded program, administered by IDOT, that supports projects and programs that enable and encourage walking and bicycling to and from school.
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:
- 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
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 (email@example.com or 312-386-8658).