Our region’s transportation network has reached a critical juncture. Travel patterns are being influenced -- and potentially transformed -- by rapidly evolving technologies that make for an uncertain and yet promising future. We cannot stand still, deferring important decisions that will shape the system for decades to come. In fact, while continuing to deal with past choices made or often deferred, our region must take bold steps both to address today’s problems and to anticipate opportunities for achieving a well-integrated, multimodal transportation system for seamless movement of people and goods within and through the seven counties of metropolitan Chicago.
[GRAPHIC: Photo essay showing the region’s transportation assets]
Making this vision our regional reality will require collective action to overcome obstacles inherent to existing assets and organizations. While some strategies may require action from the state or federal governments, increasingly this region and its local governments must rely on each other for homegrown solutions, including the revenues necessary to support a system of mobility that is the engine of our economic prosperity and quality of life.
Transportation agencies, counties, and municipalities will need to magnify coordination efforts and take swift action to adopt and regulate new technologies, make the transit system competitive, end fatal crashes, and advance inclusive economic growth. Crucially, they will need to create new revenue streams to improve conditions of the existing transportation system as well as to make limited and highly targeted expansions.
The three principles of ON TO 2050 are embedded throughout the Mobility chapter, which includes strategic recommendations to:
- Promote inclusive growth by improving mobility options that spur economic opportunity for low income communities, people of color, and people with disabilities.
- Improve resilience by ensuring that infrastructure can adapt to changes in climate and technology.
- Prioritize investment of limited resources to efficiently maintain existing infrastructure while securing new revenues for needed enhancements.