A driverless streetscape? Plan on it. [Chicago Tribune]

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has begun mulling these concepts, and its input will appear in its “Go to 2050” Plan, a blueprint for tackling the region’s myriad challenges three decades from now.

The plan’s research and guidance will help steer decisions about how and where local county and state governments spend your tax dollars. Transportation projects in Chicago’s seven-county region that are vying for federal funding must be endorsed by CMAP’s plan to be eligible for that money.

When we met with the CMAP folks, one takeaway was a message for regional and local leaders: Don’t wait until 2040 or 2030 or even 2020 to start thinking about how the region’s streets, curbsides, and infrastructure will need to change once driverless technology rolls around. “They need to think about these things now,” CMAP’s Tina Smith told us. That’s not fanciful thinking — it’s smart planning.

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