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.
As our economic, land use and transportation patterns have evolved over the last century; regional and local land use planning has become increasingly important. NIRPC’s role in land use is to plan at the regional scale and place local decisions in a broader regional framework, which influences the high-quality of the region as a whole.  

The Town of Dyer, the City of Gary, and the Town of Munster held public meetings on their new comprehensive and zoning plans in October.
The Town of Dyer held the first public forum for their 2020 Comprehensive Plan on October 16th. The consultant presented existing roadways and traffic conditions, bike maps, a draft zoning map, and transit-oriented development (TOD) opportunities along Sheffield and Main streets.

For more information about the plan click here.

The Gary Redevelopment Commission held a public hearing on their 2019 Comprehensive Plan Update which took place on October 29th. The city has spent the last 18 months working on the plan. It is a citizen led process that set the priorities for future land use decisions and community investment. The plan consolidated all existing plans and recognized all of the challenges the city has faced over the last few decades.

The current draft is available on the city's website here.

The Town of Munster presented the public draft of the Munster Livability Code on October 30th, the modernization of the town’s zoning ordinance and the update of the zoning map.

To review the update of the revised code and to provide feedback on the draft click here.
Economy and Place
Interesting News!

On Thursday November 21st, the President of the United States signed into law a bill that cancels an impending cut of $7.6 billion in highway funding at the end of fiscal year 2020. 

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act signed in 2015 mandated that Federal highway funds would have been cut by $5.4 billion on July 1, 2020. 

This means that Indiana would have lost almost $114 million had Congress and the President not passed and signed this bill. State and industry leaders feared that had the bill not been passed soon; many projects scheduled for next summer would have been delayed or worse - cancelled.

With state obligations, this amounts to $7.6 billion dollars that were averted. Important projects that were saved include interstates, bridges, local roads and trails. 
The Northwest Indiana Paddling Association (NWIPA) was founded in 2009 on the heels of NIRPC’s 2007 Greenways & Blueways Plan , which outlined regional water trail routes for the first time. From this, NWIPA has grown substantially to over 500 members who participate in a number of valuable activities promoting paddling and opening up new routes.

NWIPA serves as the chief water trail advocacy group in NW Indiana today. One of their prime missions remains “Blueways Stewardship,” where volunteers aid with cleaning up streams and lakes, taking water samples for testing and cutting out log jams. Taken together these efforts have opened up miles of new water trail opportunities in the NIRPC region.

Apart from cleaning up waterways, NWIPA actively promotes new launches, with many being ADA accessible for users who are individuals with disabilities. Many paddling events are also organized by NWIPA to raise the awareness of enjoying and protecting our waterways. For more information, please visit them at
Indianapolis’s primary transit agency, IndyGo, is paving the way to demonstrate how to enhance transit operations in Indiana.

In February 2017, a very moderate income tax was approved to allow a dedicated local funding source to match federal funds to support local transit. These local funds were leveraged to enhance IndyGo’s Red Line into a full-fledged bus rapid transit operation.

IndyGo recently announced that the improvements have paid off, with a 30% increase in
ridership and over a quarter of a million trips taken in the month of September.

With the right kind of support, changes like this are possible in Northwestern Indiana. An increase in dedicated local funding can mean leveraging 100% to 400% more federal dollars to operate and maintain transit.
NIRPC Environmental Management and Policy Committee Meeting
  • December 5th
  •  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!

Funding Opportunity!