Connected NWI
NWI’s people have accessible, safe, and equal
opportunities for working, playing, living and learning.
NIRPC staff members and transit operators collaborated to make regional bus systems more accessible for everyone. This project will assist in making bus systems, in particular bus stops, more accessible for individuals with disabilities. The American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 requires that design, construction, and additions are to be made in new and existing construction, to adhere to federal requirements for the ADA.

NIRPC staff members traveled throughout the region documenting and assessing each stop to develop an inventory of all bus stops. NIRPC and the transit operators will then work together to find solutions in taking steps to come closer to ADA compliance. This is a community-wide effort to improve the transit system and to ensure Northwestern Indiana is a better community for everyone.

This data will go even further than assisting transit operators in mapping and measuring the accessibility of their bus stops, but will also be shared with municipalities to assist in the development of their federally-required ADA Transition Plans . These plans are an important part of ensuring that municipalities can transition into complying with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. Additionally, NIRPC has secured funding to assist communities with projects related to the implementation of their locally-developed ADA Transition Plans. So during the next call for projects in Fall 2020 , communities can utilize data from the bus inventory to apply to NIRPC for funding to implement improvements to make their communities accessible for everyone.  

Currently, data is still being compiled and analyzed but community leaders and ADA Coordinators should expect access to the data after the start of the New Year.
Economy and Place
Interesting News!
Low density sprawl stretches the tax dollars of every resident and that fact could be used to support plans for more infill density. The City of Winnipeg is currently in the process of writing a residential infill strategy to guide new development in the city’s older neighborhoods.

L ower density means tax dollars are stretched much further today than they once were and may be a fundamental contributor to rising taxes, declining public services and crumbling roads and infrastructure.

The long distances of suburban infrastructure are both more costly to build initially and to maintain over time. Focusing on redevelopment and infill on existing communities will decrease the need to stretch infrastructure and support NIRPC’s 2050 strategies.

Read the full article here .
NIRPC has been working with natural area land managers over the past several years to grow and maintain partnerships in an effort to connect fragmented habitats and integrate links between people and green spaces.

Our most recent work is focused along the lower reaches of Deep River, downstream of Lake George, and the Burns Waterway.

This work effort serves as a critical link between land conservation planning and restoration work occurring along the East and West Branches of the Little Calumet River.
“When a system fails those who need it the most, it fails us all.” This statement from MarySue Barrett, President of Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), makes clear the importance of providing access to public transportation facilities for individuals with disabilities.

In the Chicago region today, there are approximately 800,000 individuals with disabilities that impede their access to transit. 

Unfortunately, many bus shelters and train stations do not provide adequate accommodations for these transit users. The results can lead to significant delays and hazardous situations which most people take for granted.

To aid in creating an equitable environment for all transit users, MPC recently released Toward Universal Mobility , a report which outlines 32 recommendations to various government agencies in the Chicago region.  

Read the full report here .
NIRPC Environmental Management Policy Committee Meeting
  • January 9th
  • 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
City of Gary City Hall Green Roof Open House
  • December 20th
  • 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • 401 Broadway, Mayor's Suite 2nd Floor
  • Link to more info
NIRPC Technical Planning Committee Meeting
  • January 14th
  • 10:00 AM
  • Lake Michigan Room, 6100 Southport Road Portage, IN 46368
  • Link for more information
  • Questions? Contact Mitch Barloga at 219-254-2518
  • Can’t make it in person? Watch it on YouTube
NIRPC Commission/Executive Board Meeting
  • January 16th
  • 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