CMAP’s “Go To 2040” project deeply flawed, biased

Published May 31, 2016

Being a recent participant at a Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) “Go To 2040” meeting, I am deeply concerned as to the motives and sincerity of the project. (August 19, “A blueprint for 2040”)

I was shocked to see not a single statistic, study, or cost estimate referenced in the entire presentation.

There were no answers to simple questions such as: How much will it cost? What is the taxpayer cost per passenger mile traveled for road versus high-speed rail, light rail, and buses? How have smart-growth policies affected traffic, crime, and affordable living in other areas?

According to CMAP’s scenario generators, the more heavy-handed and expensive the government approach to transit, development, and resource policy, the more “benefits” were shown—and they were depicted as huge gains on graphs, while the costs to taxpayers were minimized. Since simply maintaining current transit infrastructure in the region has required huge sales tax increases, this seems highly unrealistic.

Too bad the graphs showed no labels or numbers so citizens could quantify exactly what the costs and benefits of each scenario were.

I’m convinced CMAP’s “Go To 2040” public meetings are not designed to educate and gather input from the public. The process is seriously flawed scientifically and heavily biased towards generating a conclusion that massive government spending is the only cure to society’s woes. Taxpayers should be very wary.

Brian Costin ([email protected]) is assistant director for government relations for The Heartland Institute.