Connected NWI
NWI’s people have accessible, safe, and equal
opportunities for working, playing, living and learning.
Spotlight

Congestion mitigation is a key aspect of transportation planning and management. Many personal vehicle owners believe alleviating traffic congestion simply means getting to your destination on time with fewer headaches. The reality is, it interferes with truck drivers in the goods movement sector from being able to make deliveries on time. This impacts our overall economy and contributes to air pollution from idling vehicles.

Efforts to alleviate congestion go beyond simply adding more lanes to get traffic moving more freely. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an idling passenger vehicle uses .3 gallons of gasoline/hour and an idling truck, 1 gallon/hour. That not only adds to air pollution and associated health risks, but also wastes fuel and increases fueling expenses for fleets and citizens.

Utilizing clean burning alternative fuels such as propane and compressed natural gas or battery electric vehicles can help reduce emissions. Additionally some fuels and technologies, can nearly eliminate the harmful emissions caused by idling. Idle-reduction policies for fleets and municipalities, idle reduction equipment and other technologies can aid in emission reductions as well.

Combining efforts to reduce traffic congestion while increasing adoption of cleaner fuels, technologies and idle-reduction policies is critical for the health and well-being of all who live, work and play in Northwestern Indiana. NIRPC’s Green Fleet Program in partnership with South Shore Clean Cities aims to do just that.

To learn more about how you can be a Green Fleet Member, click here or contact South Shore Clean Cities at (219) 644-3690.
Economy and Place
Environment
Mobility
Interesting News!
This Fall, NIRPC received designation from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the United States Department of Commerce as an Economic Development District (EDD), bringing to fruition over a decade of concerted regional effort to achieve the designation for greater economic development in northwest Indiana. The designation for the area of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties in Indiana opens the door to additional funding assistance from the EDA for economic development-related purposes not previously available to the region.

The District will leverage the involvement of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in a partnership to provide a coordinated strategy and provide economic development technical assistance. This designation will also help lead a regional economic development planning process and roadmap for regional collaboration and will significantly enhance the services NIRPC provides the region and its 41 municipalities by providing more economic resources.

The EDD designation is consistent with NIRPC’s charge within its state enabling legislation to “institute and maintain a comprehensive planning and programming process for: (1) transportation, (2) economic development, and (3) environmental policy, and provide a coordinative management process” for Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties. (Indiana Code 36-7-7.6) 
The unfortunate reputations for fragmentation and pollution connect our region communities. Since 2013, NIRPC has been fighting that reputation with the Regional Development Authority (RDA) and the Cities of Gary, Hammond, and East Chicago in a coalition that defies those reputations.

By working together, the NWI Brownfield Coalition has received $1.4M in Brownfield Coalition Grants. These funds have been used to test contamination, plan clean-ups, and remediate land available for redevelopment but hard to sell or use due to perceived pollution problems. 

Without developing the coalition, each city individually might have only been eligible for a $200,000 grant. Competing against each other for funding would have likely found the funds going elsewhere, which gives rise to the importance of forming the coalition and strengthening our regional work in brownfields. 
The new Cline Avenue Bridge will reconnect State Road 912 to Interstate 90 and serve as “The Gateway of Lake County” while providing the most direct route into Lake County and the most time-saving route to Chicago.
 
All 29 support columns are built to support the 6,236-foot-long structure. It will take approximately 685 concrete segments to form the completed bridge; as of late October 2019, over 270 segments have been erected with substantial progress visible at the Riley Road entrance to Cline Avenue from Ramp B. The new bridge is planned to be opened in 2020.
 
To learn more about this project, click here.
Participate!
NIRPC Commission/Executive Board Meeting
  • November 21st
  • 9:00 AM
  • Lake Michigan Room, 6100 Southport Road Portage, IN 46368
  • Link for more information
  • Questions? Contact Candice Eklund at 219-254-2501
  • Can’t make it in person? Watch it on YouTube
NIRPC and South Shore Clean Cities Winter Preparedness Training for Fleets
  • November 22nd
  • 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Lake Station Riverview Park Cabin, 2701 Ripley Street, Lake Station, IN 46405
  • Link for more information
Funding Opportunity!
NIRPC Transportation Resources Oversight Committee Meeting (Lake & Porter Counties)
  • November 26th
  • 9:00 AM
  • Lake Michigan Room, 6100 Southport Road Portage, IN 46368
  • Link for more information
  • Questions? Contact Charles Bradsky at 219-254-2509
  • Can’t make it in person? Watch it on YouTube
Funding Opportunity!
NIRPC Transportation Resources Oversight Committee Meeting (LaPorte County)
  • November 26th
  • 1:00 PM
  • LaPorte Parks & Recreation Department, 250 Pine Lake Avenue LaPorte, IN 46350
  • Link for more information
  • Questions? Contact Charles Bradsky at 219-254-2509
Funding Opportunity!