September 28, 2012

CMAP Weekly Update, 9-28-12

CMAP Weekly Update, 9-28-12

Among the highlights from CMAP executive director Randy Blankenhorn, launch of new web microsite and video supporting local food systems, a new Policy Update blog posts on MetroPulse Jobs and consolidation or sharing of government services, news coverage of LTA projects in New Lenox and Antioch, and a registration open for pedestrian facility accessibility workshop. Subscribe to get Weekly Updates by e-mail.




Table of Contents



First Off...

Local food microsite.  This week at, CMAP launched a new web microsite and video about supporting local food systems, one of 12 recommendation areas in the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan.  This is a significant economic issue.  Of the $48 billion that Illinois residents spend on food every year, $46 billion is leaving the state.  If local food production were increased in our region, it could create over 5,000 jobs and generate $6.5 billion per year in economic activity. Local governments, planners, and economic development professionals have an important role to play in supporting local food systems.  Among the microsite's resources is a new two-part CMAP guide to help municipalities incorporate local food in their comprehensive plans and ordinances.  We also developed a printable brochure that can be distributed as an educational outreach tool. Read more in an entry from CMAP's Jason Navota on the Metropolitan Planning Council's Connector blog.  The Times of Northwest Indiana recently covered local food systems, with information about GO TO 2040.

Policy Updates.  We wrote about ways that our new MetroPulse Jobs site can help address the skills mismatch that contributes to unemployment despite employers' search for qualified workers, an issue recently examined by the Brookings Institution.  This new data resource helps economic and workforce development professionals to understand and make connections between employers, training resources, and data for key industry clusters that shape the regional economy.  Contact Annie Byrne ( to participate in a MetroPulse Jobs webinar on October 3 at 10:00 a.m.  We also wrote about efforts underway in Ohio, Illinois, and the region to consolidate or share government services.


Other News and Announcements

CTA Red Line.  Grid Chicago wrote about the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Red Line modernization and the 95th St. Station, which is one of the busiest stations in the CTA train system.  Through our LTA program, CMAP is working with the Developing Communities Project and CTA on a project that demonstrates how the Red Line South Extension, one of five new major capital projects in GO TO 2040, would improve livability in the affected community areas.

Transit improvements.  The Tribune wrote about Regional Transportation Authority efforts to increase bonding authority for funding of transit infrastructure maintenance and modernization. The Trib and WBEZ described CTA and Pace plans to allow riders to pay fares with the same card starting next summer.

Local food toolkit.  As mentioned above, CMAP has produced a new guide, Municipal Strategies to Support Local Food, to help communities include local food in comprehensive plans, along with an urban agriculture ordinance toolkit. For more information, contact Lori Heringa ( or 312-396-8621). 

LTA in the news.  Patch wrote about a public meeting held on Wednesday for the development of a U.S. Route 30 corridor implementation plan in the Village of New Lenox.  Plan development is funded with a $60,000 Community Planning Program grant through CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program.  The Lake County News-Sun wrote about an upcoming public meeting for development of a lifestyle corridor plan for the Village of Antioch.

Traffic history.  Wonder what the Illinois road system looked like in the mid-20th Century?  CMAP has made its collection of historical traffic maps available on-line.  This information is fascinating for researchers and the merely curious.  To request higher-resolution versions suitable for printing, contact Claire Bozic (  Our archive also includes a link to the Illinois Department of Transportation's collection of state road maps, which go back to 1917. 

CMAQ in the news.  The Chicago Sun-Times wrote about plans for a Union Station Transportation Center, which will help support bus rapid transit in Chicago.  This project is partially funded through our Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program.

Register now:  Pedestrian Facility Accessibility Workshop November 1-2.  CMAP will host a Soles and Spokes Workshop, "Designing Pedestrian Facilities for Accessibility," on November 1-2, 2012.  Participants will learn how to apply guidelines and policies developed under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act to pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way.  The 1.5-day workshop includes a field trip.  PDH hours and CM credits are available for professional engineers and certified planners.

Development Dialogue.  On October 3, Urban Land Institute Chicago and Kane County, in partnership with the Kane County Planning Cooperative, the Metro West Council of Government, and Elgin Community College, will host a Development Dialogue on redevelopment for failed residential, commercial, and retail developments from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Great Lakes panel.  A panel on Great Lakes Water Scarcity and Regional Economic Development will be held at Northwestern University on October 10 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.  This is an affiliate event of Chicago Ideas Week.


CMAP Blogs

Green Signals.  CMAP's transportation operations blog described a Transportation Research Board project brief on improving highway capacity through operations.



EI2 rebates.  Energy Impact Illinois (EI2) is offering rebates up to $1750 (an estimated 70-percent cost savings) for upgrades you can make to improve the comfort of your home.  To get the message out, EI2 now has 20 field staff conducting outreach throughout the region.  Keep an eye out for them, organizing house parties or community events.  For more information, contact Emily Plagman at  To see if you qualify for the rebate, please call 1-855-9-IMPACT.  In related news, EI2's "Meet the Energy Bills" campaign received two awards at the Chicago Business Marketing Association's (BMA) 2012 Tower Awards.

ArcView workshops.  CMAP periodically offers a Two-Day Basic ArcView 10 Workshop, and dates are set for October 24 to 25, November 28 to 29, and January 9 to 10.  Attendance at each workshop is limited to five people, so register early.  The cost is $350. To register, please contact Jan Drennan (

Green infrastructure call for proposals.  The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency announced a third round of Illinois Green Infrastructure Grants (IGIG) for stormwater management.  Applications are due December 14, 2012.



Green and Healthy Neighborhoods Land Use Plan planning meeting
September 29, 2012
9:00 to 11:45 a.m.
Coppin Memorial A.M.E. Church:  5627 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Hosted by the City of Chicago, LISC/Chicago, Teamwork Englewood, Washington Park Consortium, and CMAP
More information

Evanston Green Living Festival
September 29, 2012
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Evanston Ecology Center:  2024 McCormick Boulevard, Evanston
Hosted by the City of Evanston
More information