Renewed NWI
NWI’s urban and rural centers are places people want to come
to and live in, and our environment is safe and healthy.
For more information and resources in regard to COVID-19, please visit the

Traffic Counts Drop due to COVID-19

Due to the impact of COVID-19 , much fewer people and goods are traveling along the Region’s roads and highways. Governor Holcomb’s Executive Orders 20-08 and 20-18 (also known as the “Stay-at-home” orders), restricting all but essential travel since March 25, appear to have been heeded throughout the state.

In fact, it appears Hoosiers started curtailing their travel even before Executive Order 20-08 took effect. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) deploys continuous count traffic counters throughout the state, and 43 of them were set up and able to collect data from the baseline week of March 2-8, 2020 and every day since to compare. The chart above summarizes the results of the decreases in traffic as a percentage from the baseline week for both passenger cars and trucks. The bolded dates and vertical lines in the chart correspond to weekend days.

It is clear from the chart that traffic for both cars and trucks has declined, with car traffic declining slightly more than truck traffic. Also, Hoosiers have been traveling significantly less on weekend days (compared to the baseline weekend days of March 7 and 8) than weekdays (compared to the baseline weekdays of March 2-6). NIRPC staff is continuing to partner with INDOT to monitor the latest traffic count changes due to COVID-19 . To see data from every traffic counter in Indiana, see the INDOT Traffic Count Database System .

For information on how certain types of trips have been affected, see the Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Report .
Economy and Place
The Bright Side of Staying in Place

Despite the downsides of COVID-19, physical activity has increased as people have stayed home.

Walking, rolling, and biking are easing the time of quarantines and enabling people to get moving without using cars.

It feels safer to walk or bike with fewer cars on the streets. But are all streets safe? Do all communities have complete streets? Complete streets offer many benefits to people and communities.

This is the time for local communities to consider and potentially adopt a complete streets policy, implement it, and retrofit new and future projects.

A transportation system that includes complete streets in urban areas can strengthen economic growth by connecting people to jobs, shopping, and recreation. 
The NIRPC Executive Board adopted a Complete Streets policy requiring all new federally-aided roadway projects to consider incorporating Complete Streets design standards.

Learn more about Complete Streets here and the 2019 Complete Streets Act here.
5 Ways to Renew the Environment During COVID-19

Although COVID-19 has kept us inside, with temperatures rising and spring and summer on its way, here are the Top 5 Ways to renew the environment during COVID-19:

5. Reduce food waste and start growing food at home from food scraps. Learn how to here.

4. Spring Housecleaning? Learn the best ways to reduce trash and safely dispose of hazardous materials here . Check out your county waste management district pages to find out what services are available where you live in Porter County , Lake County , LaPorte County .

3. Learn about the many benefits your favorite tree provides at My Tree .  Take care of your trees. If you don’t have a tree near you, consider planting one. Learn how by following the  Tree Owners Manual .

2. Spring weather means yard work! Make sure you follow practices that will protect local lakes, Lake Michigan, and conserve water. Learn more at Lawn to Lake.

1. Celebrate Virtual Earth Day 2020 with Save the Dunes or the Calumet Collaborative. Share a selfie of something you do to protect the environment.  Save the Dunes Virtual Earth Day, Calumet Collaborative Virtual Earth Day .
INDOT is Open for Business

During these unsettling times it is good to see that some things haven’t changed. Construction Season is quickly upon us. You have probably heard a flurry of announcements on the radio about road closures and detours throughout the Region.

INDOT released a statement on March 29th stating that it’s business of maintaining and fixing existing roads and building new roads is essential and will continue to move forward. 

Maintaining the infrastructure and advancing the program as a whole is vital to the state of Indiana and the economy.

Wherever possible, employees and contractors are either working virtually or practicing appropriate social distancing.

Roadway construction projects began the week of April 1st. If you have to travel, we encourage everyone to slow down through construction zones even if there are less cars on the roads.

Otherwise, know that when you no longer have to stay at home, construction will be that much farther along!
NIRPC has designed and implemented an interactive  COVID-19  dashboard onto its website, which you can find  here.  Track and observe how  COVID-19  is impacting communities across Northwest Indiana.
Meetings are subject to change due to Coronavirus Protocol.
NIRPC Commission/Executive Board Meeting (Subject to Change)
  • May 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
Funding Opportunity!
  • The Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund Round 2 On-road & Non-road Grant has been extended until May 31, 2020.
  • Contact South Shore Clean Cities at (219) 644-3690 for more information.
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