Chicago Misses Out On Congestion Pricing Funding

<p>Though officials proposed several promising schemes, a lack of quickly executable plans knocked the region from contention for federal funds.</p>
July 31, 2007, 9am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"The federal government will award more than $1 billion early next month to help some cities reduce congestion, but the Chicago area -- notorious for traffic jams -- won't get a penny.

It's not that officials in the six-county region didn't offer several promising ideas in their entry submitted to the federal Urban Partnership competition. However, the presentation, led by the Illinois Department of Transportation, consisted mainly of preliminary concepts that will require deeper analysis and feasibility studies."

"All the proposals in the federal grant application would take time -- and some local investment -- to implement, officials said.

But quick action -- not long-range planning -- is what the U.S. Department of Transportation was looking for.

Therefore, the Chicago region was not among the nine metro areas recently named semifinalists in the competition. The nine cities are preparing to implement their programs and write new laws to bring about the changes needed to ease traffic bottlenecks.

New York made it to the final round, giving a boost to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's congestion-pricing proposal to charge cars entering Manhattan $8 per day, and trucks $21, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The other semifinalists are Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle."

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Published on Monday, July 30, 2007 in The Chicago Tribune
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