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Metropolitan Planning Council Re-Connection

Commuters Demand Transportation Choices

MPC to release results of 16-company Commute Options pilot and recommendations for making commuting less of a pain at Dec. 6 roundtable

The Commute Options pilot results from the phase one survey

Once upon a time, Mark drove to work everyday. Alone. No one to talk to. Then, one day, Mark's employer reminded everyone they could get a discount on monthly passes for transit. Mark took a chance. He took a bus. Then he sold his car. And Mark has not looked back since. Now, no car means no car payments, no car insurance, no tedious time and precious money wasted at the pumping station. It's just Mark, on a bus, with a book and a cup of coffee, looking a little bit cheerier.

If you're jealous, join us on Friday, Dec. 6 for our roundtable, Making the Case for Commute Options, and learn how MPC is promoting Transportation Demand Management in the Chicago region.

(Plus, Divvy, our in-kind sponsor, will be handing out free one-day bike passes to the first 75 registrants. And the first five people to tweet pictures of themselves en route and on transit will get some free Divvy swag. So sign up today!)

Thanks to Globetrotters Engineering Corporation for their generous sponsorship.

Keeping our region the crossroads for freight

Vacant lotMetropolitan Chicago is a freight powerhouse. Six of the seven largest railroads and 50 percent of all rail movement in the country pass through and operate in our region. O'Hare Airport is the nation's fifth-busiest cargo mover. So how do we keep the freight sector strong? MPC's Chrissy Mancini Nichols and Peter Skosey weigh in for Brookings Institution's The Avenue blog.

Beauty in Bronzeville, under the 'L'

The garden under the LOn Friday, Nov. 1, an under-'L' garden opened at the 47th Street Green Line stop in Bronzeville, on the city's South Side. Quad Cities Development Corporation (QCDC) wanted to make the area more friendly to pedestrians, and MPC's place audits were instrumental in getting the conversation started.

Environmental Assessment is out for Ashland Avenue bus rapid transit

Cleveland RTA photo of BRTWith Loop and Ashland Avenue BRT progressing through planning, Chicago is on track for its very own bus rapid transit system—and a gold-standard one at that. The Environmental Assessment is now complete for Ashland Avenue, and the Chicago Transit Authority and Chicago Dept. of Transportation will be holding public meetings Dec. 10 and 11. MPC is excited to see this project moving forward and encourages everyone to attend a public meeting.

Interested in development benefitts of Ashland Avenue BRT? Take a look at MPC President MarySue Barrett's blog post for Living Cities' The Catalyst blog, distributed nationally.

Get In the Loop on all the latest local, national and international transit headlines.

Talking Transit is supported by Bombardier.

A path to recovery, not replication

It's no secret that vacant lots are a huge problem in Chicago, Cook County and the collar counties. But what do we do with them? In a recent Crain's article, Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer discusses the Cook County Land Bank's potential to curb the vacancy trend. Success doesn't have to look like the past, and MPC is excited to see what the land bank can accomplish once it gets up and running.

Want more information about the Land Bank? Have a look at this Chicago Tonight segment from earlier in November.

Taking action on rightsizing government in DuPage County

In 2011, DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin commissioned a report on 24 of the county's independent government taxing agencies, and discovered $300 million in public funds and frequent ethical breaches. The response is the DuPage ACT Initiative—Accountability, Consolidation, Transparency—projected to save taxpayers $82,184,400 via dissolution, partnership and tax reform. MPC is offering our assistance to this promising effort.

Video(s) of the Month

Two Chicago Tonight segments from earlier in November do an excellent job of describing and examining suburban poverty and the Cook County Land Bank, two topics with which MPC has been deeply involved.


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