United NWI
NWI’s diversity is celebrated, and we work together as a community across racial, ethnic, political and cultural lines for the mutual benefit of the region.

The 2020 Census is an important effort to make sure your community is represented accurately. The U.S. Census determines apportionment, redistricting, money to states and localities, planning, emergency response, and a base for federal surveys.

Efforts to make sure every person is counted in the 2020 Census started months ago, and several people within your community may be working by leading or participating in a Complete Count Committee .
The idea behind these committees comes from the idea that community members who are unaware or unsure of participating in the census will be more likely to respond if they are informed by a local community member.

Education on the U.S. Census is important because the requirement only occurs every ten years . The U.S. Census Bureau works to collaborate with local groups or individuals who have local knowledge, influence, or resources to educate the public about the census. 
The U.S. Census Bureau website has posted a map of officially partnered Complete Count Committees listing fifteen in Lake, La Porte, and Porter counties. That being said, there are many more individuals and groups working to spread the word on the value of participation in the 2020 Census

For more information on Complete Count Committees and the 2020 Census please click here and here.
Economy and Place
Interesting News!
Our region’s communities are making strides to change the way people think about Northwest Indiana. Many communities are experiencing an economic revival and renewal of downtowns.

Efforts are underway in communities such as Gary, Whiting, East Chicago, Valparaiso, Merrillville and Michigan City to enhance overall quality of life.

What great things are happening in your community? Read the full article here .
NIRPC recently collaborated with the LaPorte County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) to complete a watershed diagnostic study for Kablin Drain.

The LaPorte Area Lake Association approached the LaPorte County Soil & Water Conservation District with a concern that Kabelin Drain is negatively impacting water quality and threatening recreational uses of Pine Lake because of high nutrient and pathogen levels. 

Baseline water quality assessment conducted by the SWCD and LaPorte County Surveyor's Office as part of the study showed that E. coli, an indicator of other pathogens, and to a lesser degree nutrients emanating from Kabelin Drain occasionally reach levels that could negatively impact Pine Lake.

Analysis suggested that these pollutants were most problematic during wet weather events and were of nonpoint source origin. Human land uses and activities appeared to have a subtle, cumulative impact on the system.

A variety of structural and non-structural best management practices that could be broadly implemented to protect and improve water quality in the Kabelin Drain catchment and ultimately Pine Lake were recommended.  
Microtransit is a new concept in the world of transit operations. Similar to Uber or Lyft, transit operators that use microtransit provide rideshare programs in a relatively small geographic area.

By limiting the geography of the ride-share program, operators are able to solve the first-mile-last-mile problem of getting people to and from a fixed-route transit system stop.

A pilot program was recently launched in the City of Birmingham, Alabama, where a 6.7 square mile section of the city was covered by the new microtransit program.

The service is available to anyone. At $1.50 a fare, and a less-than-15-minute wait time, the service is expected to bridge the gap between where existing city buses drop-off passengers and their final destinations.

Additionally, the service helps connect individuals in neighboring communities in, out, and throughout the downtown area. Microtransit is a new approach that could be implemented in Northwestern Indiana. To learn more, click here.

Participation Opportunity!
NIRPC is currently surveying NWI residents, businesses, and travelers on their experience with congestion. NIRPC is updating NWI's Congestion Management Process, which influences the kind of investments and planning NIRPC and INDOT can pursue in Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties. Please take some time to share your thoughts!
NIRPC Environmental Management and 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
FED: Food Expo & Discussion 2020

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 Full Commission/Executive Board Meeting
  • January 16th
  •  10:00 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