Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning MPO Policy Committee met March 14
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning MPO Policy Committee met March 14.
Here is the minutes provided by the committee:
Policy Committee Members Present: John Yonan-MPO Policy Committee Vice-Chair, Frank Beal- representing the CMAP Board, Matthew Brolley-representing the CMAP Board, Lynette Ciavarella-representing Metra, Michael Connelly-representing the CTA, Sandy Hart-representing Lake County Aimee Lee-representing the Illinois Tollway, Holly Ostdick- representing IDOT, Leanne Redden-representing the RTA, Tom Rickert-representing Kane County, Rebekah Scheinfeld-representing CDOT, Jeffrey Schielke-representing the Council of Mayors, Lorraine Snorden-representing Pace, Chris Snyder-representing DuPage County, and non-voting members Glenn Fulkerson-representing the FHWA, Tony Greep-representing the FTA, and Erik Varela-representing Class 1 Railroads
Staff Present: Joe Szabo, Melissa Porter, Angela Manning-Hardimon, Jesse Elam, Gordon Smith, Russell Pietrowiak, Simone Weil, and Sherry Kane
Others Present: Tom Budesco-Chicago Infrastructure Trust, Jack Cruikshank-WCGL, Laura Heckel-IDOT, Emily Karry and Mike Klemens-Lake County Council, Jon-Paul Kohler-FHWA, Jill Leary-RTA, David Seglin-CDOT, and Shane Schneider-Lake County
1.0 Call to Order and Introductions
MPO Policy Committee Vice-Chair, John Yonan called the meeting to order at 9:38 a.m., and asked members (and audience) to introduce themselves.
2.0 Agenda Changes and Announcements
There were no agenda changes.
3.0 Approval of Minutes
A motion to approve the minutes of the January 10, 2019, meeting of the MPO Policy Committee was made by Mayor Jeffery Schielke and seconded by Mike Connelly. All in favor, the motion carried.
4.0 Agency Reports
4.1 CMAP Executive Director Joe Szabo reported on the following topics. CMAP Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP) applications (due May 20) are now available for the summer 2019 program. CoG outreach meetings continue. Dues have been collected at about 99%, (100% from both the transit agencies and the counties)—thank you. Testimony at a Senate Commerce Committee in February, representing CMAP and CAGTC, stressing mode-neutral and performance-based investment and eliminating the cap on multi- modal. CMAP Deputy Executive Director Jesse Elam testified at a House Appropriations Capital Committee in Springfield on March 7.
4.2 For the CMAP Board, Leanne Redden reported that the board had met in February and again just the day before. At the January meeting, the Board had considered the two ON TO 2050 plan amendments: O’Hare Express Service and the Jackson Park improvements. Yesterday, Redden continued, the Board approved the detailed legislative report, based on its Legislative Agenda and considered the pavement management program.
4.3 Mayor Jeffrey Schielke reported that the Council of Mayors Executive Committee met on March 5. The committee, representative of its 284 members, suggested a more visible presence in Springfield is necessary. CMAP staff gave a presentation on the principles for sustainable funding, with the committee acknowledging that sooner or later, there needs to be more funding for highway and transit in the region. The RTA needs a major influx of cash, the committee hopes that stirring up the mayors to tell this story in Springfield is helpful, and asked staff to develop talking points (and summaries) to inform of MFT and fees in Illinois compared to all 50 states. The committee is scheduled to meet next on May 14.
5.0 Transportation Consent Agenda: Semi-Annual ON TO 2050/TIP Conformity Analysis and TIP Amendment
Given the semi-annual ON TO 2050/TIP Conformity Analysis and TIP Amendment was a consent agenda item from the Transportation Committee, Vice Chair John Yonan asked the matter be approved. A motion by Leanne Redden was seconded by Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld to approve the semi-annual ON TO 2050/TIP Conformity Analysis and TIP Amendment as was recommended by the Transportation Committee and presented to the MPO Policy Committee.
Changes regarding Lake County were questioned, specifically related to Wadsworth Road at US 41, and Buffalo Grove Road from Illinois 22 Half Day Road, had CMAP staff Russell Pietrowiak reporting that the projects had been submitted by the programmers—in this case, the Planning Liaisons (PLs) of Lake County—based on conversations they have with the sponsors as to where the status of the projects were at the given time. Because these are conformed projects, Pietrowiak went on to say, they must conform to different requirements. Pietrowiak also suggested that an off line conversation with the PL and the project sponsors would be in order.
Pietrowiak also responded to a question raised regarding new data that had indicated a net result of a decrease of more than 10% in the total number of vehicles and explained that the process is very complex, that the vehicle population takes into account the number, types, and ages of vehicles as different ages have different emissions controls. Data is routinely updated (not more than 5 years old) and due for the update, the data was obtained from the Secretary of State, noticed discrepancies, and ran the analysis using both the old and the new vehicle population and in both cases were able to meet our conformity budget. Following conversations with the Secretary of State, Pietrowiak concluded that an additional set of data was requested in order to establish any trends—fewer passenger vehicles, additional SUVs, more pickups, etc.
All in favor, the motion carried.
6.0 Local Technical Assistance (LTA) Program
6.1 Deputy Executive Director for Planning, Stephane Phifer, presented the FY 2020 Program of Projects for approval, reporting the following. CMAP had held the call for new LTA projects in the fall of 2018, to correspond with the launch of ON TO 2050, and in conjunction with the RTA’s Community Planning Program. Outreach was conducted to those communities identified by the Municipal Survey who needed help and a CCT-sponsored workshop was held for non-profits. A good response to the call was seen, Phifer continued, with 74 applications from 66 different sponsors with 35% of the applications coming from high needs communities. Phifer explained the evaluation—alignment with ON TO 2050, project-type, geographic distribution, staff expertise and availability. Phifer also explained the 17 traditional and 29 alternative support type projects. A motion by Mayor Jeffery Schielke to approve the FY 2020 Program of Projects under the Local Technical Assistance (LTA) Program as was presented, was seconded by Tom Rickert, and with all in favor, carried.
6.2 The Local Technical Assistance (LTA) Program Update was included in the meeting materials.
7.0 ON TO 2050 Plan Amendments
Deputy Executive Director of Policy and Programming Jesse Elam presented the proposed amendments to the ON TO 2050 Plan, reporting that while the regional plan gets updated at least every four years, there is also a process to consider new regionally significant projects as amendments to the plan outside the required updates. Elam went on to explain the evaluation process, the memos that were released for a 30-day public comment period, briefings were given on the two projects (to the Board) by the City, and a staff evaluation and other feedback resulted in staff recommendations for the two amendment requests. 7.1 Regarding roadway Improvements to Support the Update to the South Lakefront
Framework Plan, Elam suggested this project meets a number of ON TO 2050 transportation goals: improving circulation through Jackson Park; making needed safety improvements; helping to implement complete streets; improving walkability; improving transit; improving storm water management; encouraging reinvestment in disinvested communities; and helping Jackson Park prepare for traffic demands from the new Obama presidential center. Elam also reported that there were very few public comments and CDOT did a lot of engagement in the community as it was designing the project. The project has a relatively small effect on the ON TO 2050 financial plan. Staff recommended approval of amending ON TO 2050 to include this project. A motion by Mayor Jeffery Schielke to approve the amendment as presented, was seconded by Mike Connelly, and with all in favor, carried.
7.2 Regarding the O’Hare Express Service (OES) amendment, Elam also presented the second ON TO 2050 Plan amendment (through a public private partnership and at no cost to the City) request citing the following plan recommendations: harnessing emerging technology to improve travel; encouraging innovation; bringing private capital to help meet public needs; connecting two of the region’s biggest economic strengths (the Loop and O’Hare); supporting the plan’s focus on investing in existing communities; using strategic public private partnerships. Elam reported that staff had built into its recommendation for approval a couple of checks—any change in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) would have to come before the Policy Committee and any significant change to the scope of the project would require both CMAP Board and MPO Policy Committee approval. Elam concluded that staff recommended that the OES be added to the Plan as a constrained project. Finally, Elam reported on the public comment process, most related to financing, which staff feels is being addressed by the checks recommended above. Since there is no public money involved, it does not affect the financial plan of ON TO 2050. A motion by Mike Connelly for approval of the plan amendment was seconded by Mayor Jeffery Schielke. Questions were raised regarding the following: access to the tunnels (design process is currently underway with oversight by FHWA); the ride time (45 mins via CTA, versus 12-15 mins); comments by the California person related to promises made that were not kept; concerns about the unknown (which may exist with any project); and concerns about the cost. CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld reported the following: that the approval is necessary to meet the NEPA evaluation process; that negotiations continue with the private party; that the proposed contract would be open to public process, and through the City Council; that additional details would be available as the process unfolds; that were changes in the project— specifically in the funding proposed or the type of use anticipated—this body could reconsider inclusion in the plan; and finally, Scheinfeld explained capacity and additional demand related to the modernization of O’Hare.
All in favor, the motion carried. Scheinfeld thanked the Policy Committee for its favorable support of the two plan amendments, as well as CMAP and its staff (Jesse Elam and Liz Schuh).
7.3 Given the approval of the plan amendments, Elam also requested approval of the ON TO 2050/TIP Conformity Analysis and TIP Amendment. A motion by Mayor Jeffery Schielke was seconded by Tom Rickert. All in favor, the motion carried.
8.0 State Legislative Update
Vice Chair John Yonan announced that a number of CMAP staff were in Springfield, there was no state legislative update, and that questions could be fielded by other CMAP staff.
9.0 Federal Update
Chief of Staff Melissa Porter gave the federal update that included a short summary of the President’s 2020 Budget and reported that some proposals to cut programs that have been rejected by Congress in prior years and proposals not in line with the most recent appropriations bill (February 2019) will have an uphill battle to be included this coming year. Other topics from the update included the following. Hearing on FAST Act reauthorization, a potential infrastructure bill, and other transportation funding matters will likely continue through this year. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will focus on putting together an infrastructure bill that may include a hearing on climate change and transportation while making a case for infrastructure investments. Finally, the Senate committees are focused on surface transportation reauthorization, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee sent a request to Senate offices for priority issues to be included in the bill, and the Commerce Committee has been focused on freight transportation in particular.
RTA Executive Director Leanne Redden voiced concerns regarding the President’s budget proposal and the $1 billion cut to Capital Infrastructure Grant Program (CIGP) that is mission critical to our region. A question was also raised regarding motor fuel tax and electric and autonomous vehicles that has been captured in CMAP’s federal agenda and talking points. Finally, a request was made for a one-page summary of the cuts being proposed.
10.0 Innovation Roundtable-Asset Management at IDOT
Laura Heckel, Asset Management Engineer at IDOT, presented this meeting’s innovation roundtable related to IDOT’s Asset Management program. Heckel reported that IDOT is now 100% fully on board implementing asset management with tremendous strides having been made in only the past couple of years, explained why local agencies should care, citing MAP 21 legislation that implies the state is required to report local agencies’ miles and bridges on the NHS system to the federal government. Heckel reviewed the following: NHS inventory; examples of coordination with local agencies and MPOs; IDOT’s internal procedures that all roads and bridges be included in asset management; defined all (interstate mileage, marked route mileage, unmarked route mileage—mostly local--and a new category other NHS mileage—all marked and unmarked routes) pavements and bridges; explained IDOT’s incorporation of asset management into all its bureaus, divisions, and districts; IDOT’s collection of local agency NHS pavement data and local agency responsibility for bridge inspections and reporting; implementation of a pilot program related to condition rating service; desired state of acceptable condition used to measure the condition of the network; implementation of national performance management measures; changes to IDOT’s investments strategies; maximizing asset conditions; program priorities (existing and expansion); and finally, next steps (help locals, support MPOs).
Heckel fielded questions related to: data availability (yes, data could be forwarded); why different standards--IDOT versus CMAP (federal law is different for MPOs (180 days), and the timeline between ON TO 2050 had CMAP publishing targets before IDOT was ready).
11.0 Other Business
A press conference later in the day would announce the recommendations of former US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood taskforce on mobility and transportation to integrate new technology and business practices around transportation to ensure we continue to have a safe, equitable, and modern system for Chicago.
12.0 Public Comment
There were no comments from the public.
13.0 Next Meeting
The MPO Policy Committee is scheduled to meet next on June 13, 2019. Vice Chair Yonan reported that IDOT has a new Acting Secretary who would likely chair the June meeting and asked members of the audience to introduce themselves.
At 11:06 a.m., a motion to adjourn by Mike Connelly was seconded by Chris Snyder. All in favor, the motion carried.