MPC: Regional Transportation Authority should plan major capital investments
Chair has sent a letter to Gov. Rod Blagojevich urging immediate action to
Illinois’ looming transit funding crisis, and
recommending that any
funding package or reform legislation also designate the Regional Transportation
Authority (RTA) as sole fiduciary for state and federal capital funding. “This
will save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars wasted in alternatives
analyses and preliminary engineering for projects, prior to regional consensus
being reached,” wrote MPC Board Chair Lee M. Mitchell.
For example, Metra, Pace and the Chicago Transit Authority are conducting
funding alternatives analyses and preliminary engineering for 11 New Start
projects, which would cost
$8 billion when completed. But the total five-year federal allocation for new
billion. Clearly, these numbers don't add up. A stronger RTA will make the
region more competitive for scarce federal dollars by prioritizing projects that
achieve the most cost-effective use of limited transit
MPC’s letter comes just days after Gerald Bennett,
chairman of the board of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP),
and the chairmen of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties
sent a letter to the governor and the “Four Tops” calling for a new state
capital investment package. Visit CMAP’s Web site, to view the letter. For more on MPC’s
proposal for strengthening the RTA, contact MPC Transportation Director Michael
McLaughlin , at 312.863.6022 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Illinois Schools and Property Taxpayers, “The Time is Now!”
Everyone from prom queens to
state representatives are calling for school funding and property tax reform
this session, and MPC and A+ Illinois are among the hundreds of civic and
community organizations across the state building the case that “The Time is
As state leaders debate how best to craft a new state
budget, MPC is preparing to release a “hybrid revenue plan” based on
common-ground principles for raising sufficient, sustainable revenues to support
all Illinois schools and target property tax relief to hardest-hit ones –
without placing an undue burden on either working families or businesses.
Meanwhile, A+ Illinois and other regional and statewide groups are weighing
in with their own plans
for quality and funding reforms, a good sign that advocates
are working with legislators to close in on a compromise.
For added insurance that state legislators will not
leave Springfield until crafting a plan, A+ Illinois is urging people to
communicate their concerns to their leaders by calling the A+ Illinois
legislative hotline now through May 25. By dialing toll-free, 1-800-651-0315,
callers are connected directly to their state representatives and senators.
Those who do not know their legislators’ names can visit the A+ Illinois Web site and enter their ZIP code to
find out. For more information about MPC’s plan, contact MPC Communications
Associate Mandy Burrell at 312-863-6018. For more information about the A+
Illinois platform or the hotline, contact A+ Illinois Communications Coordinator
Clare Fauke at 312-863-6012.
Learn How the Daily Race for the Parking Space Can Be Solved
Circling the block three times
before waiting another five minutes for a car to leave a coveted parking spot is
enough to cause even the most resilient of shoppers to forego his or her trip.
Successful neighborhood retail centers need to manage parking demand. Local and
national experts will discuss practical, easy ways to do just that at a
roundtable co-hosted by the Metropolitan Planning Council and Chicago
Architecture Foundation on Tuesday, June 5, from noon to 1:30 p.m.
Understanding parking management
best practices in big cities has become an exact science, boiled down to the
“parking equilibrium equation”
. Creator Donald
Shoup – professor at the
, and author of
The High Cost of Free Parking
– says the seemingly complex equation
generates an easily understood multi-million dollar alternative revenue stream
for cities, reduces parking backups, and increases business for retailers. Dr.
Rachel Weinberger, professor at PennDesign at the
and former private industry expert, will
aldermen how local neighborhoods are
adopting these potentially lucrative parking best practices.
The lunchtime event takes place at the Chicago
Architecture Foundation, 224 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, in The John Buck Company
Lecture Hall. Media may attend free of charge, and should contact MPC
Communications Associate Mandy Burrell to register. All others should register by
visiting MPC’s Web calendar.
Meet the MPC Staff
MPC’s Josh Ellis Can Point You in the Right
Japan, looked to Josh Ellis for help
in learning English, they found out he was a great resource. For reporters in
search of a community development expert, he’s just as valuable.
Since November 2006, Ellis has
served as Community Development Associate for MPC. He works through MPC’s
Housing program and Community Building Initiative to support local technical
assistance on workforce housing, redevelopment, transit-oriented development,
and planning for future growth. The Brentwood, N.H., native also coordinates
MPC’s community acceptance strategy, which increases the public and political
will of local communities to support new housing policies and approve proposals
for well built, well managed, economically priced homes.”
earned a master’s degree in both public policy and Middle
the University of Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree
College of William
Mary in Virginia. Before joining MPC, he
was a research assistant with the Campaign for Sensible Growth; an intern
the Chicago office of U.S. Sen.
Barack Obama (D-Ill.); and an ESL (English as a Second Language) instructor
in Chicago ’s Pilsen neighborhood,
“Finding new and creative ways to demonstrate the need
for improved planning” is what Ellis says he enjoys most about his work; however
he does admit the occasional daydream of “playing third base for the Boston Red
Sox.” When not dreaming of fielding ground balls, Ellis can be found
coordinating MPC’s utilization of GIS technology to capture connections between
geography, socioeconomics, government initiatives, and market forces. Contact
MPC Community Building Associate Josh Ellis at 312.863.6045 or email@example.com.