Transit, Road Projects to Get Boost from Federal Funds

Chicago CMAP Bike RentalA regional plan designed to improve the Chicago area’s traffic congestion and air quality will receive a boost from federal transportation funds focused on improving transit, roads, as well as bicycle, and pedestrian facilities.

The $411 million in funds will be used in the next five years to support the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan, according to a news release. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning will allocate the money through the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program.

The number of projects slated for funding from 2012 through 2016 totals 115 and includes cleaner diesel engines for Metra, CTA station improvements, Pace express buss service enhancements, and dozens of road intersection and bicycle-pedestrian improvements across the region.

“The GO TO 2040 plan emphasizes maintaining and modernizing our current transportation system, and the FY2012-16 CMAQ program reflects those regional priorities,” said CMAP Board Chairman Gerald Bennett, mayor of Palos Hills.  “These projects will have very tangible benefits for residents, helping them get around more freely, improving the quality of air that we all breathe, and supporting economic growth across the region.”

–Photo by kpishdadi, Flickr Creative Commons

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Melanie Johnson, a Southern California based writer, works as an editor for an online media company. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English (1997) from Cal Poly Pomona and a master’s degree in journalism (1999) from Syracuse University. Melanie has worked the bulk of her 13-year career in newspapers, including stints at the San Bernardino Sun and the Press-Enterprise in Riverside. She has covered a wide variety of beats, including city government and education. She also has worked as a freelance writer and editor.