Champaign-Urbana miPLAN (2006-2011)

Cliff Chambers, currently with Mobility Planners LLC, led a multi-disciplinary team in developing a 2035 land use and mobility strategy for the Champaign-Urbana, IL region.  The University of Illinois would like to grow the Champaign-Urbana Urbanized Area to a population of 117,000 to 250,000 in order to compete with comparable universities located in communities with larger employment bases and higher pay scales.  The University, the cities of Urbana and Champaign, and the MTD (local bus service) are collaborating on how to grow smart but still maintain mobility in the region.  The effort, nicknamed and branded miPLAN, has three distinct phases:  1) Market Research 2) Selection and Evaluation of Alternatives and 3) Preferred Land Use and Mobility Scenario.  The project is currently in Phase III .  Cliff Chambers collaborated with Selena Barlow and Hugh Clark in very extensive public participation and market research that was used to formulate land use and mobility alternatives for Phase II.  The Phase I public participation and market research included:

Public participation: A series of nine Neighborhood TransopolySM sessions were held in neighborhoods throughout the Champaign-Urbana area to elicit public priorities on future transportation investment.  The “game”  produced by Center for Neighborhood Technology provided direct input on public priorities in transportation investment.

Market research:

  • Interviews were held with approximately 50 community leaders.
  • Three focus groups were held with existing, potential and disabled transit riders.
  • An on-board survey was conducted of 2,879 Champaign Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD) transit riders from both campus and non-campus routes.
  • An e-survey of 3,262 employees of major employers in the Champaign-Urbana area was administered.
  • An e-survey of 3,319 University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign (UIUC) students was conducted.
  • Profile of existing MTD travel patterns:  A detailed analysis of boarding and alighting patterns by stop and time of day in the sample month of October 2006 provided insight into how existing MTD services were being utilized.

Phase II involved included the development of a mode choice model component by Dowling Associates that enables the modeling of mobility trips instead of just auto trips.   Four land use and development scenarios were developed in an econometric and land use simulation model by LEAM:

  • Existing development patterns and current population trends
  • Existing development patterns and 250,000 population
  • Mobility enhanced development and current population trends
  • Mobility enhanced development and 250,000 population

A comprehensive corridor analysis of the White St./Springfield Ave. corridor was prepared by the Center for Neighborhood Technology.   This land use, mobility and economic assessment provides the basis for the evaluation of high capacity mobility options in the corridors serving the University of Illinois. Phase I and II were completed while Cliff Chambers was a Principal with Transit Resource Center.

Key Staff: Cliff Chambers (Project Manager), Selena Barlow, Hugh ClarkDavid Reinke, Linda Young, Albert Benedict, Jeff Terstriep, and Edward Pigman.  Cynthia Hoyle and David Foote were consultants for MTD on the project.

Project Budget: $623,200

Products for this project are included on the miPLAN website:

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