It's been an exciting week here at MPC. Last Tuesday we released Immeasurable Loss: Modernizing Lake Michigan Water Use, which details research findings and policy recommendations in support of the Ill. Dept. of Natural Resources' efforts to improve water resources management in northeastern Illinois. We kicked off advocacy in support of those policy proposals, and that's reaped immediate benefits with substantial media coverage of a heretofore out of sight, out of mind, issue. And we held a lunchtime roundtable—attended by 76 elected officials, water resource managers, and industry leaders—to discuss the issue of modernizing the usage conditions tied to Lake Michigan permits, why it needs to happen, and what some of the challenges might be along the way. By all accounts the…
More opportunities for interaction between IDNR and Lake Michigan permittees would lead to better water management.
Reading through the 43 public comment letters sent to the Ill. Dept. of Natural Resources (IDNR) and posted on their website, I was struck by the frustration and apprehension expressed by most of the authors. As I see it, much of the concern stems from miscommunication. In reality, we’re all working toward the same goals—reducing the needless waste of Lake Michigan water and the money it takes to provide it—and it’s easier to achieve those goals when we work together. At Metropolitan Planning Council’s (MPC) May 7 event, Immeasurable Loss: Modernizing Lake Michigan Water Use, we released a report that details Lake Michigan water loss, supports IDNR’s proposals and provides further recommendations. The goal: better data, better cooperation.
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Image courtesy of LimeRed Studio
Rough estimates suggest 70 million gallons per day of Lake Michigan water are lost in northeastern Illinois.
Watch the live stream, viewable from both PCs and mobile devices.
During every moment of every day, northeastern Illinois is losing Lake Michigan water – and with it, the money rate payers contributed to pumping, treating and distributing this water. Yet while we know our region is losing vast sums of Lake Michigan water, and we know this inefficiency is costing us money, we do not have a clear picture of how much water or how much money we are wasting. The best available data suggest the problem is enormous – approximately 490 million gallons a week, enough water to fill more than one Willis Tower. However, the way Illinois grants Lake Michigan water permits does not capture data that identify the causes of loss and solutions to prevent it. That’s just one reason why…
I spent Earth Day with Chicago region transportation leaders at a summit hosted by the Illinois Tollway exploring solutions to traffic congestion and finance multimodal projects in the region. The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) was excited to partner with Metropolis Strategies in co-sponsoring Jonas Eliasson from the Centre for Transport Studies in Stockholm to speak at the event. Eliasson’s theory suggests that providing people with simple incentives can tackle huge problems like congestion. He brought this theory to life in Stockholm by designing a congestion charge plan, which was piloted in 2006 and, by public demand, made permanent in 2007.
Stockholm’s congestion charge system (called cordon pricing) has been immensely successful and popular. Drivers entering or…
Bus companies like Midwest Motorcoach, Pace, and CTA operate private shuttles for businesses.
There is an invisible web of bus routes that you won’t find on any transit map: it’s the private shuttle network. Usually designed as customized “last mile” connections from public transit stations to a specific location, these buses are offered by employers for their own employees, and are usually not available to the general public. In this two-part series, we’ll investigate this phenomenon and explore its pros and cons, drawing from examples in Chicago and elsewhere.
When the removal of a certain “perk” causes a business to lose a dozen employees and shift its entire recruitment focus, that perk is a big deal. So went the story for Civic Staffing L3C, a Chicago-based alternative staffing company and contractor to the Avon Products…