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January 26, 2015

Interactive Mobility Data Visualizations Highlight Value, Needs of Metropolitan Chicago's Transportation System

Metropolitan Chicago cannot afford to take its transportation infrastructure for granted -- the region's roads, transit, and freight networks are the engine of our economy and critical to quality of life. In January 2015, CMAP launched a set of interactive data visualizations to describe the region's transportation system. The site includes maps and graphs based on data indicators that the agency uses to monitor implementation of the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan.

CMAP created this site in the belief that data transparency is key to effective decisions about infrastructure investments.  The site's three main modules are organized by transportation mode. Users can explore our region's roads through measures of congestion, ride quality, and bridge condition. Measures of the metropolitan Chicago transit system include access, ridership, and maintenance. Our region is the America's leading freight hub, and GO TO 2040 implementation includes monitoring rail crossing delays and implementation of CREATE projects to separate freight rail from motor vehicles.

As this data-driven resource shows, the region's transportation network is not being adequately maintained, and resources to upgrade these assets are more scarce and precious than ever.   CMAP believes residents will support such investments if they see decisions are based on performance measures to ensure that projects maximize benefits such as reducing congestion, improving transit service, creating jobs, and enhancing quality of life.

A series of upcoming CMAP Policy Updates will examine efforts to improve mobility with new revenue sources recommended by GO TO 2040, to analyze the economic impacts of freight congestion, and to complete the CREATE program.