One of our staff members just wrapped up serving on one of Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot's transition committees. Steven Vance, our Director of Urban Planning & Technology was a member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Transition Committee. This committee comprises representatives from public sector transportation agencies and authorities, private sector companies and associations, as well as consultants and advocates.
The role of the transition committees was to advise the Mayor-elect's transition team on the initiatives and processes that Lightfoot's administration should adopt. Early on, each committee member was required to submit a memo detailing a single initiative they think would help the Lightfoot administration instill values of transparency, transformation, diversity and inclusion, and equity. (All memos were posted online.)
Steven's memo suggested quickly piloting new bus lanes downtown that would ensure the thousands of people who ride some of the CTA's express bus routes from the South Side are able to consistently arrive to work downtown at the same time every day.
At the second and final meeting last week, committee members discussed each other's initiatives. The co-chairs of Steven's transition committee are now writing reports that incorporate the members' initiatives and discussion. The reports will be presented to Lightfoot at a ceremony on May 17 at Kennedy-King College, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Steven was likely selected to join the committee because of his broad experience reporting and reviewing transportation policies for Streetsblog Chicago for many years before he joined MAPS. At MAP Strategies, Steven focuses on policy review, updates our clients on new and proposed policies, and leads his department on a myriad of zoning services, including site selection and vignettes, zoning assessments and data-driven studies for real estate developers.
Separately from the transition committee, Steven and I also met with policy managers at the Lightfoot transition team last month to discuss the impacts of the updated Chicago Building Code. Certain aspects of the modernized code allow larger multi-family wood frame construction and larger cold-formed metal framing for mid-rise buildings, which could reduce costs for some affordable housing developments.
Photo above shows Steven Vance talking to Derrick James, another transportation & infrastructure transition committee member.