Press Release: Transportation planners look for help from the people of Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties

June 14, 2022

NIRPC kicks off process to determine how safe and how convenient it will to walk, ride transit, and drive a car or truck in the region

PORTAGE, Indiana—The Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) is launching the process to update the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) for Northwest Indiana (NWI). The last MTP, called NWI 2050, was completed in May 2019. Federal law requires this plan, which guides how federal money will be spent on transportation projects in our region, to be updated every four years. This newest effort, to be called NWI 2050+ will build on the prior plan’s success and places significant additional emphasis on making it safer and more convenient for people to walk, bike or use transit to get from their homes to essential destinations around the three-county region.

NWI 2050+, looks out to 2050 and will consider how the region continues to change. Overall, the region grew by a modest amount between 2010 and 2020. But some of our communities continue to lose population and jobs while others continue to grow very rapidly. The plan will make the connections between transportation, the environment and economic development in the region.

NWI 2050+ will be divided into three phases, which are: Finding Meaning, Creating Purpose and Purpose Driven Planning. We are in the Finding Meaning phase now. In the Finding Meaning phase we want and we need people to come help us define what the most important transportation issues are that affect them in their day-to-day lives.

  • Can your kids safely walk or ride their bikes to school?
  • Can you safely ride your bike to the grocery store or to the beach or to work?
  • Can you catch a bus or the train to work?
  • Do you have to drive everywhere even though gasoline prices are over $5 per gallon?
  • Do freight trains often delay you getting where you need to be?

These are just a few of the questions we have for you at the upcoming open houses scheduled for the week of June 20, 2022, in Lake, Porter, and La Porte counties.

Public outreach events for the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, named NWI 2050+, will take place from 4-7 p.m. CDT. Requests for alternative formats must be made 72 hours in advance by contacting

La Porte County, Tuesday, June 21st:
Michigan City Public Library, 100 E. 4th Street, Michigan City, IN 46360
Transit: MC Transit Route 1, 4

Porter County, Wednesday, June 22nd:
Chesterton Town Hall 726 Broadway, Chesterton, IN 46304
Transit: Porter County Aging & Community Services

Lake County, Thursday, June 23rd:
Dean and Barbara White Community Center (Event Center 3) 6600 Broadway, Merrillville, IN 46410
Transit: R-Bmx; R5

These open houses are part of the process defined by Engage NWI, the public participation plan NIRPC has adopted to guide how we involve the public in our efforts as the region’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). There will be additional opportunities to engage in the development of NWI 2050+. Please visit our website at periodically for additional details on our progress and additional events. Engage NWI also can be found on our website at

The NWI 2050+ plan builds on the successes of a previous transportation plan, the 2040 Plan, which was the first comprehensive regional transportation plan for our three-county region, and a subsequent plan, NWI 2050, approved in 2019. Metropolitan Transportation Plans are updated every four years.

“The NWI 2050+ long-range plan will build on a history of bold urban planning approaches in the region. Feedback, comments, and all public input from residents are key elements in the plan—it’s critical for the success of any public process, particularly one that will guide how billions of dollars in federal, state and local funds are spent on transportation projects in our region between now and 2050,” said Thomas Dow, AICP, director of transportation for NIRPC. “Transportation touches every part of our lives. Now is the time for people in NWI to begin offering their thoughts on where the region should be headed.”

Last modified: June 16, 2022