The 2023 APA-IL State Conference was held September 11-13 at North Central College in Naperville. The annual conference showcases the best in Illinois urban planning and provides educational sessions, mobile workshops, and social events. Civiltech was not only a proud sponsor of the conference, but Civiltech staff led a number of events!

On Monday, September 11, Civiltech Transportation Planner, Jacque Henrikson, AICP, presented “Improving Truck Movements Near You” with Cecilia Diaz from Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways and Tom Murtha and Patty Mangano from Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. In this session, Jacque shared lessons from Civiltech’s South Cook Truck Routing and Communities Study, which Civiltech worked on in partnership with CMAP, Cook County DoTH, CDM Smith and Morreale.

The presentation highlighted how the movement of goods through communities reflects the jobs and commercial activities that most residents appreciate, but how the use of roads by trucks is often contentious. The session provided insight into Civiltech’s process to develop truck route plans within south Cook County, including how to integrate freight movement into Complete Streets design, how to evaluate and address potential environmental justice impacts, the role of land use planning in truck trip generation, and how to form effective partnerships among stakeholders to address these critical issues.

Read more about the South Cook Truck Routing and Communities Study:

Jacque also utilized the conference to reboot the APA-IL Emerging Planners Group. Jacque and Roya Nassirpour from MUSE Community + Design are co-leaders of the group and hosted a luncheon at a downtown Naperville restaurant. Jackie Loewe, President of Sheridan Park Consulting, was the guest speaker. Jackie shared networking skills, tips, and tricks to becoming a good connector.

Civiltech’s Lissa Sweeney, AICP, LEED AP, joined with Jacque facilitating a Speed Internships session in partnership with Sara Egan and others from Design Workshop. This session was geared towards students and they led a discussion on how transportation planners collaboratively work with other disciplines and across project phases.

On Tuesday, September 12, Civiltech’s Kristin Kalitowski, P.E., and John Magill, along with William Novack, P.E., and Kathron Rubush, P.E., from the City of Naperville led a mobile workshop, called “Word on the Street(scape): From Community Vision to Implementation in Downtown Naperville.” This walking tour gave an overview of the Naperville Downtown Streetscape Projects on which Civiltech has provided Streetscape Design, Phase II Design, and Phase III Construction Engineering services. The tour included streetscape designs recently constructed and currently in design, as well as existing streetscapes dating from 2005, which illustrates the updates to the standards adopted by the City.

In the presentation, the team shared the design and public involvement processes and how they worked collaboratively with stakeholders and business owners to build consensus for the current standards and the final designs. The tour highlighted specific details such as changing the existing angled parking to parallel parking to gain sidewalk and amenity space, how green space (plants and trees) was incorporated into the urban environment, and the different types of lighting that were specified. The presentation also addressed how the City is funding the various streetscape projects.