Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Hosted at Magellan Development, 225 North Columbus Drive, Chicago, Illinois (map)

Thank you to all who participated!

Sponsors included:

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The Chicago Central Area Committee (CCAC) held a special Central Area Transportation Workshop on Wednesday, July 16 at Magellan Development, 225 North Columbus Drive, in downtown Chicago. The event brought together government, nonprofit, and institutional leaders to discuss ways to improve access to downtown, and is the first in a planned series of CCAC workshops based upon the chapter-by-chapter recommendations of the 2009 Central Area Action Plan.

Key elements of Chicago’s rapid transit system have reached capacity and expansion is essential if the city is to continue to grow and prosper. The goal of the Transportation Workshop is to examine and build consensus around potential projects identified in the Central Area Action Plan and review the proposed “Central Area Connector,” an outgrowth of the 1990s Circulator.

The Workshop Emcee was Avi Lothan, Founding Principal, Lothan VanHook DeStefano Architecture.

The agenda began with three morning panels moderated by Stephen Schlickman, Executive Director, UIC Urban Transportation Center, with public, nonprofit, and institutional leaders, including:

The Regional Perspective

  • Mary Sue Barrett, President, Metropolitan Planning Council
  • Randy Blankenhorn, Executive Director, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
  • Kathy Tholin, CEO, Center for Neighborhood Technology

The Cultural Connection: The Needs of Institutions and Tourism

  • Michelle Boone, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
  • Richard Lariviere, President and CEO, The Field Museum
  • Don Welsh, President and CEO, Choose Chicago

The State of the Agencies: Issues Facing The Current Systems

  • Lynnette Ciavarella, Senior Division Director-Strategic Capital Planning, Metra
  • Luann Hamilton, Deputy Commissioner, Chicago Department of Transportation
  • Mike McLaughlin, Vice President-Planning and Federal Affairs, Chicago Transportation Authority
  • Mark Pitstick, Acting Director for Planning and Market Development, Regional Transportation Authority
  • John Yonan, P.E., Director, Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways

The panels were followed by an afternoon planning charrette to determine if there is consensus on prioritizing transportation initiatives, with a working team led by Jon DeVries, Director, Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate, Roosevelt University, examining Central Area Action Plan recommended projects, and a second working team led by Stephen Schlickman and assisted by Ed Zotti, Urban Planning/Transit Consultant, examining the Central Area Connector.

A public presentation of findings from the working teams was held at 4:00 p.m.

CCAC will hear a report on the workshop and consider options to move key projects forward at its next meeting in September. (See meeting calendar PDF.)

For more information, please contact Executive Director Kelly O’Brien at 312.602.5148 or

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