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.
candidly discussed the difficulties that would have arisen from the passage of
Gov. Blagojevich’s proposed “Jobs for
” 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
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.
to Sees' remarks, the meeting featured updates from Frank Beal,
executive director of Chicago Metropolis 2020, and
, 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.
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
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
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.
Partner for Transit and support critical investments in our region's