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May 2012 Blog posts

Railroad Escrow Account passes both chambers

Hooray! After stalling for a short while in the House, SB 2861 passed both chambers in the final hours of the 97th Illinois General Assembly. The IDOT–Railroad Escrow Account bill establishes a fund to be used on maintenance of the higher speed rail line being developed from Chicago to St. Louis. MPC supports this intelligent approach to managing project maintenance costs. Read the letter of support to Sen. Sandoval and Rep. Burke.

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Mark your calendars for BRT Open House meetings

Gerardo Arevalo Tamayo

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is coming to Chicago – possibly your community! The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Chicago Dept. of Transportation (CDOT) are launching a study of Western and Ashland avenues to determine if BRT is feasible for these corridors. Unfamiliar with BRT? MPC and Active Transportation Alliance developed this handy BRT fact sheet, which will bring you up to speed. Both of our organizations are part of the Chicago BRT Task Force, which is assisting CTA and CDOT as they develop Chicago’s system plan for BRT, including the Western and Ashland Alternatives Analysis. Through this analysis, funded by the Federal Transit Administration, CTA and CDOT will study approximately 21 miles of Western and Ashland avenues, from Howard Street on the north to 95th Street…

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MPC urges General Assembly to fix state pension crisis

J. Stephen Conn (flickr)

The Metropolitan Planning Council sent the following letter to Gov. Pat Quinn, Ill. Senate President John Cullerton, Ill. House Speaker Michael Madigan, Ill. Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno, and Ill. House Republican Leader Tom Cross, urging them to fix the state's pension systems. The General Assembly must act urgently to fix the state’s pension crisis and put Illinois on the path to fiscal stability. For three decades, the state has mismanaged the five systems, making costly promises to employees while failing to make its required payments. This irresponsibility has led to an $83 billion pension unfunded liability and the worst funded system in the country. Pension contributions are a two way street. While employees have kept their end of the bargain, making their…

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In the Loop: May 18, 2012

Nick Suydam

In the Loop is your Friday round-up of what's going on in the transportation world, posted in conjunction with Talking Transit. @ MPC The success of MPC's Commute Options pilot proves that commuters want alternatives to driving. (The upcoming Bike to Work Week is a great time to try bike commuting!) MPC urges the transportation bill conference committee to include MAP-21 provisions and eliminate the tolling prohibitions on interstates. Retooling the United Center could mean a new Green Line station. Elsewhere Not waiting for Washington, Chicago gets its trust. The CTA is touting its new Yellow Line station in Skokie as "perfect TOD," and a virtual grocery store at State/Lake allows commuters to shop from the platform. (The new Morgan station on the Green and Pink lines opens today,…

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Ride your bike to work! No excuses!

CDOT adding additional striping in the bike lanes on 18th Street, near the river bridge. Check it out on your way to work!

Bike to Work Week is coming up soon: June 9 to 15! Get your office rolling with Active Transportation Alliance's Bike Commuter Challenge! Your train is packed. Your bus is stuck in traffic. You arrive at the office, already worn out from your commute, and chug a tall cup of coffee to get going again. A great start to another work day. Or, you could ride your bike to work and arrive awake and refreshed, ready to tackle another day. What's that? You've never tried riding your bike to work? Oh, I see. You have a whole list of excuses. Well, let's get those out of the way. My bike is old and inadequate. You don't need a fancy, shiny bike. I commute every day on the same bike I've had since I was 15. Just drag that old one out of the basement, blow the dust off, and put some air in the…

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For 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area’s toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

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