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May 17, 2013
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CMAP Weekly Update, 5-17-13

Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, a on-line presentation from Wednesday's informational session on CMAP's LTA program and RTA Community Planning Program, new Policy Updates include analysis on motor fuel tax-wholesale tax swap and news from Springfield, a recap of this week's Calumet Summit, and the third-quarter staff progress report is now available on-line. Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail.

First Off...

Call for local projects informational presentation available. On Wednesday, May 15, CMAP and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) held an informational session for the 2014 RTA Community Planning Program and CMAP Local Technical Assistance (LTA) Program Call for Projects. The presentation is now available on-line.  Review the program guide to see which types of projects are eligible, or contact Erin Aleman ( or 312-386-8816). Applications are at and are due June 26, 2013 at noon.

Policy Updates.  This month, the Transportation for Illinois Coalition proposed eliminating the state motor fuel tax (MFT) and removing motor fuel from the 6.25-percent state sales tax base, which would then be replaced with an 18-percent wholesale tax on motor fuel. While TFIC argues that the MFT-wholesale tax swap would address the MFT's vulnerability to inflation, our Policy Updates blog analyzes the substantial impacts of volatility in fuel prices on the proposal's revenue yields and equity.  We also covered recent news from Springfield.

Calumet Summit 2013.  This Wednesday, I spoke at the two-day Calumet Summit 2013:  Connecting for Action, coordinated by the Calumet Stewardship Initiative.  It was a chance for northwest Indiana and northeast Illinois leaders to develop an agenda to support natural resources in the Calumet region.  The Times of Northwest Indiana wrote an editorial about the summit, which includes a quote from my remarks.  In other open space news, the State of Illinois announced a $15.3 million investment in local parks across Illinois, including in Cook and DuPage Counties, through the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development program.

Staff progress report.  The third-quarter progress report (January through March) based on CMAP's FY13 work plan is now on-line.

Other News and Announcements

LTA updates.   Among recent highlights from CMAP LTA program:

Manufacturing reshoring. Crain's Chicago Business covers the recent trend of "reshoring" as Midwestern companies are receiving new contracts and production returns from overseas. A video preview examines why Illinois has not seen the same increase. Also see CMAP's Metropolitan Chicago's Manufacturing Cluster: A Drill-Down Report on Innovation, Workforce, and Infrastructure.

Stormwater management workshop.
The Lake Michigan League of Women Voters and partners will host "Stormwater -- From the Ground Up" on June 18 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.  In related news, a recent CMAP publication describes how local governments can use stormwater utilities to address local flooding and drainage problems.  For additional information, contact Jesse Elam ( or 312-386-8688).

APA tour. The Dirt blog described a tour organized for the American Planning Association National Conference by the Field Museum, showcasing the work of Chicago Wilderness and our region's natural spaces and green infrastructure.

Metra wi-fi
.  The Chicago Tribune covered a new study exploring the cost of equipping Metra trains with wi-fi.

Census webinars.  The U.S. Census Bureau will offer a free training webinar next week:  Population Estimates and Projections (May 22 at 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. CT).  Register on-line.

Change Institute. The MidAmerica Center for Public Healthy Practice and partners will host the 2013 Change Institute on May 29-30 at the Hyatt Rosemont (6350 North River Road). The event will focus on building healthy living in communities.

TMA annual meeting. The Transportation Management Association (TMA) of Lake-Cook will hold its annual meeting on June 7 at 9:00 a.m. at Baxter Healthcare (1 Baxter Parkway, Deerfield). RSVP on-line or to Lynn Stailey by June 5.

CMAP Blogs

Soles and Spokes.  CMAP's bike-ped planning blog featured a new study evaluating the safety impact of converting two-way left-turn medians to raised medians. We also highlighted a new on-line guide on road diets from the Project for Public Place, the "Rightsizing Streets Guide."


Performance-based funding. A new microsite focuses on how "performance-based funding" can improve transparency and decision making. A Policy Updates blog provides an overview of the microsite, including its compendium of related CMAP research and analysis.

Congestion pricing. Visit to learn more about the many places that congestion pricing is already underway across the country, as well as the benefits of implementing express toll lanes in our own region. To support that effort, please contact CMAP principal planner Erin Aleman (312-386-8816 or

FLIP applications. Applications are available for next year's Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP) program. Students who will be sophomores, juniors, or seniors in the 2013-14 school year are eligible. The priority deadline for applications is May 31. For more information, contact Ricardo Lopez ( or 312-386-8766).

EI2 rebates. Energy Impact Illinois (EI2) is offering rebates up to $1,750 (an estimated 70-percent cost savings) for upgrades you can make to improve the comfort of your home. For more information, contact Emily Plagman at To see if you qualify for the rebate, please call 1-855-9-IMPACT.

Upcoming IDNR meeting. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Water Resources has partnered with CMAP and the Center for Neighborhood Technology on a water loss evaluation project to better understand challenges faced by public water supply operators. CMAP's Tim Loftus will describe the project at the May 22 INDR meeting that will discuss proposed changes to the rules and regulations governing Lake Michigan water allocations and allow for additional public comment.

ArcGIS workshops. CMAP periodically offers a Two-Day ArcGIS Basic 10.1 Workshop, and dates are set for August 28 to 29, October 2 to 3, November 6 to 7, and December 18 to 19. Attendance at each workshop is limited to five people, so register early. The cost is $350. To register, please contact Jan Drennan (



County Green
May 23, 2013
7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
College of Lake County:  19351 W. Washington Street, Grayslake
Hosted by the College of Lake County
More information



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