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In the Loop: August 21, 2014

Flickr user CTA web (cc).

The just-reopened CTA Harrison Red Line Station.

In the Loop is your round-up of what’s going on in the transportation world, posted in conjunction with Talking Transit. @metroplanners news After a month of consultation with the Uptown community about the future of the area adjacent to the Chicago Transit Authority Wilson Station, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) released its Corridor Development Initiative report. The report will be used in consultation with 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman to plan for the future of the area. MPC will lead a similar community engagement process in Logan Square for the area around the Blue Line station there, beginning Thursday, Sept. 9. MPC is hosting Governor Pat Quinn and businessman Bruce Rauner for our 2014 Annual Luncheon next Thursday, Aug. 28, at noon. At the event, the candidates…

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Old Place New Tricks: Activation days

Community board at South East Chicago Commission's activation in Bronzeville.

Amazing things happened this weekend as 16 groups from across Chicago and the City of Blue Island delivered on programming a space within their community in response to MPC’s 2014 Placemaking Challenge, Old Place New Tricks. Groups identified a site in their community—a vacant lot, an underused park or a lonely retail strip—and brought it to life by creating an active and engaging temporary place. Check out our Storify of the day's tweets! While experiencing a single activation served as a great demonstration for how anybody has the potential to breathe positive energy into their community, the multiplier effect of 16 of these events happening over a single weekend underscores the need that we all share for vibrant places in our communities, regardless of where we…

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States must explore all revenue options to overcome federal transportation funding slump

Source: Transportation for America

A number of states have adopted innovative new revenue streams to pay for transportation infrastructure.

Federal support for transportation infrastructure will likely continue to face cuts and budgetary shortfalls. What does that mean for Illinoisans? The answer depends, in part, on how state leaders respond—a topic the two front-runner candidates for governor will address at the Metropolitan Planning Council’s Annual Luncheon on Aug. 28. The federal Highway Trust Fund, supported by the gas tax, has long supplied the lion’s share of funding for local and state transportation infrastructure projects. But the gas tax has not been increased since 1993; inflation, exacerbated by Americans driving less and choosing more fuel-efficient vehicles, has eroded this critically important revenue source. Last-minute quick fixes by Congress have allowed the fund to hobble along, but…

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Obama Library has great potential to advance city, regional goals

Via Flickr user John Kannenberg

President Barack Obama's presidential journey began in Chicago; his Presidential Library belongs here.

The Metropolitan Planning Council strongly believes that the Barack Obama Presidential Library is best suited for Chicago—after all, what other city can lay claim to so many milestones in the President’s illustrious career? The Library belongs here, and MPC’s staff and Board of Governors have committed to working with the Barack Obama Foundation and local partners to identify the strongest site possible. The site’s selection has implications far beyond the Library itself. The development of the Library has great potential to advance a number of city and regional goals, shared by President Obama and the First Lady, including creating job opportunities and sparking economic development in disinvested communities, modeling energy efficiency, and expanding the reach…

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IDOT seeks consultant to institutionalize Commute Options in metropolitan Chicago

IDOT's new pilot will help solve commuters' biggest frustrations.

The Chicago region has a rich network of transportation options, yet traffic congestion remains a persistent challenge. It’s a problem that hurts individuals as well as the region’s economy: We waste billions of dollars and countless hours each year. While no single solution will solve congestion—MPC promotes a range of funding and policy solutions—the Illinois Dept. of Transportation (IDOT) deserves kudos for taking an important step toward getting our region “unstuck:” In August, as part of its Long-Range Transportation Plan, IDOT issued an RFP for a consultant to manage a five-year pilot that would institutionalize a regional strategy to reduce the number of people driving alone to work. Called the “Northeastern Illinois Travel Demand…

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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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