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Acting IDOT Secretary Milton Sees presents his vision to Business Leaders for Transportation

At their spring quarterly meeting, members of Business Leaders for Transportation had an intimate conversation with Milton Sees, acting secretary of the Ill. Dept. of Transportation (IDOT), about his background in the transportation field, IDOT priorities, and the potential for passing a new state capital program in 2007.

 

Sees candidly discussed the difficulties that would have arisen from the passage of Gov. Blagojevich’s proposed “Jobs for Illinois ” capital program in 2006. He observed that, thanks to rapidly rising construction costs, IDOT could not have delivered all of the projects on the list within budget. Sees noted that IDOT currently has the capacity to undertake $2.4 billion worth of projects. And, he remains optimistic about the possibility for a new capital program in 2007.

 

The agency has surveyed its needs and will be prioritizing funding for bridge maintenance and improvements with any capital funding that comes its way. Moving beyond highways and bridges, the acting secretary emphasized his strong support for the CREATE project because of its ability to improve traffic flow and quality of life.

 

In addition to Sees' remarks, the meeting featured updates from Frank Beal, executive director of Chicago Metropolis 2020, and Peter Skosey , vice president of external relations of Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), on state legislative initiatives their representative organization are currently pursuing.

 

Metropolis 2020 has been collaborating with legislators on amending the Regional Transportation Authority Act to make the agency more effective, as well as Regional Planning Act amendments to incorporate changes to complete the transition of the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission and Chicago Area Transportation Study into the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

 

MPC's legislative priorities include the authorization of Public-Private Partnerships as an option to maximize transportation investments, and the Illinois Capital Investment Accountability Act, which proposes a more accountable and transparent approach to selecting state transportation investments.

 

The meeting concluded with announcements and member organization updates. Representatives from the RTA announced that its board of directors approved the final report of the Moving Beyond Congestion strategic planning effort.   Advocates for CREATE reported on a successful lobbying session in Springfield . MPC welcomed Michael McLaughlin, a former transportation policy advisor to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Bill Lipinski, on board as its new f transportation and land use director.

 

Save the Date! The next Business Leaders for Transportation member meeting is Friday, June 8, 2007, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

 

Read more about RTA reform.

Read more about Regional Planning Act changes.

Read more about the Illinois Capital Accountability Investment Act.

Read more about Public-Private Partnerships as an option for transportation infrastructure investments.

Learn more about Moving Beyond Congestion.

Learn more about CREATE – Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program.

Become a member of Business Leaders for Transportation.

Become a Partner for Transit and support critical investments in our region's transit system.

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