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 Town of Burns Harbor has made remarkable progress on the development of the Marquette Greenway (MG) through their community. The MG is a planned, 55-mile off-road trail vision from south Chicago to downtown New Buffalo, MI. The route will connect all Indiana lakeshore communities along the way, and provide visitors several key access points to the Indiana Dunes National Park.

Leaders in Burns Harbor have been passionate to see the MG brought to fruition for several years. They have recognized that the MG will both help connect their own community together, as well as provide a long-needed connection between the east and west landholdings of the National Park. Taken together the MG has the opportunity to become a truly transformative project for the community, and to this end town leaders are planning to route the MG through their new town center development.

Beginning the process to make this connection has been challenging since much of the land needed is not yet developed, and there are significant geographical and infrastructure issues. Of prime note is the route of the Little Calumet River and the steep slopes and adjacent wetlands that accompany it. There is also an existing railroad to work with, and State Road 149 to cross.  

Even with these obstacles, the town has succeeded in securing all the funding necessary to complete their 3-plus mile route. Funding has been secured through a number of avenues including NIRPC, and two sources from the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources. This includes a $1.7 million award in May of 2019 from the Next Level Trails Program. In all, the trail from east to west will involve a total investment of $3 million.

To learn more, visit the Marquette Greenway Burns Harbor Project.
Economy and Place
Interesting News!
Even though it’s only early November, Christmas lights and displays can already be seen throughout the Region, as retailers compete for shoppers. A Christmas-themed festival in a pedestrian-friendly environment, like a downtown, can be a great way to help local retailers compete against big box stores.

Throughout the holiday season, several chamber or municipal sponsored events encourage residents to get out, enjoy the winter air, and most importantly spend their money locally.

Keep a look out for local events in your community, such as " Holly Days" in Valparaiso; Light up the Park , or the Holiday Market ,” in Hobart; Celebration of Lights in East Chicago; and Glowing Lights Night in Michigan City.
NIRPC’s Environmental Management and Policy Committee (EMPC) provides an effective, united voice for environmental concerns in Northwest Indiana. This August, residents were dismayed to learn that process failures at Arcelor-Mittal led to an exceedance of their permitted discharge limit for cyanide. 

As the cause of this incident continues to be investigated, at the time Arcelor-Mittal worked hard to be transparent in providing information to the public.

Despite Arcelor-Mittal’s efforts to be transparent, Northwest Indiana residents were still concerned in regard to the lack of clarity around allowed discharges, procedures for handling problems, and sources of health risk information.  

In 2017 after US Steel’s Hexavalent Chromium spill; EMPC, in a joint meeting with the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, raised questions about communication between agencies and communities during an environmental incident. 

As a result of this conversation, local responders are now being included early on in a NWI SubArea Environmental Response Plan that is under development by the Region 5 Environmental Protection Agency.
Gary Public Transportation Corporation (GPTC) and the City of Valparaiso have each developed online tools for demonstrating their transit service to the public. GPTC uses an embedded dynamic on their homepage so that users can easily scale, drag, and search along bus routes to determine the best route for them to take.

The City of Valparaiso used an advanced transit database to feed route information into a server that distributes information across a suite of mobile apps and websites, including Google Maps. The City of Valparaiso’s data is even as sophisticated as to be able to track buses in real time.

As transit systems adapt and grow to operate in a more competitive environment, tools like these will make all the difference. 

Click here for more information about GPTC.

Click here for more information about Valparaiso transit.

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 Commission/Executive Board Meeting
  • November 21st
  • 9:00 AM
  • Lake Michigan, 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
CommuniTree - Tree Pruning Workshop
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
Diversity and Inclusion Symposium 2019 - Save the Date
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
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!
Funding Opportunity!
Funding Opportunity!