NWI 2050+

NWI 2050+ will be the updated version the NWI 2050 plan. This is a comprehensive metropolitan transportation plan that focuses on the growth and care ot the trasnportation system in Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties. NWI 2050+ is a guiding document that aims to connect local, state, and federal transportation goals along with regional economic, environmental, and development goals. NWI 2050+ is organized into five main elements: Active Transportation, Freight, Land Use, Transit, and Roadways/Highways.  

Background

The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, or NIRPC, serves as the Council of Governments (COG) and the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for three counties in Northwestern Indiana (NWI). These are: Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties. As of the 2020 Census, NWI has about 785,000 residents with 41 cities and towns. As a metropolitan region, we are required to update our Region’s transportation plan every four years which includes walking, bicycling, riding transit, driving cars and trucks for people of all legal ages and abilities. Every year, over $100 million in federal funds is spent in NWI on transportation projects. Between now and 2050, that will be more than a $3 billion investment to the quality of life for our residents!

Plan History

Released in 2011, the 2040 CRP represented the first time NIRPC engaged all three counties in a
“Vision Plan” which was developed as a comprehensive, citizen-based regional vision guiding the development of land use and transportation programming. As such, it presented a policy program with strong coordination and implementation elements. The 2040 CRP Update was subsequently released in 2015. By 2019, the NWI 2050 Plan was released with four Key Elements which envisioned our Region as Connected, Renewed, United, and Vibrant. Each of these elements were further analyzed using four Focus Areas which included Economy and Place, Environment, Mobility, and People and Leaders. The results produced a number of future scenarios and action plans to bring to fruition these policies and those stakeholders best suited to implement them. Today NIRPC is engaged in updating the NWI 2050 Plan as the NWI 2050+ Plan, keeping the same horizon year and emphasizing planning areas involving active transportation, public transit, freight movements, and land use impacts. During the summer of 2022, a robust public engagement phase will commence to collect data from Region residents on their feedback regarding the future of NWI regarding the plan’s focus areas.

Updating the 2050 Plan

NIRPC is committed to helping our member municipalities make great places happen! The NWI 2050+ Plan will emphasize 1) preserving the existing transportation systems, 2) planning for safety of all transportation system users rather than just increasing the speed of cars and trucks, 3) connecting people to jobs, educational opportunities, shopping, and recreation, and 4) the efficient movement of freight to support the economy of the region.
For decades, transportation plans around the United States have focused on mobility at the expense of accessibility. The result has been the funneling of billions of dollars of investment into transportation infrastructure designed to get people moving further and further distances at higher and higher speeds. Predictably, rather than making things easier to get to, this investment in highway capacity has mostly pushed these destinations out over a wider area.

Timeline

NIRPC has divided the plan development process into three general phases. The work of the selected consultants will occur between February 2022 and February 2023. As NIRPC will be managing the overall process and completing some plan elements internally, the NWI 2050+ Plan development process will be initiated before the consultants are selected and under contract. The general phases are:

Public Engagement

Upcoming

Ridge Cyclery, Highland – August 16th (4pm – 6pm)

Trek Store, Schererville – August 17 (5pm – 7pm)

Michigan City Farmers Market -August 20th

Trailblazers Bike Barn, Hobart- September 20th (4pm – 6pm)

Trailyard, Valparaiso – September 22nd (4pm – 6pm)

A-1 Cycle Center, Merrillville – October 19th (3pm – 5pm)

Previous Events

Lake County Fair- August 5th – August 14th

Porter County Fair – July 21st – July 30th

LaPorte County Fair – July 9th – July 16th 

Lake County – June 23, 4-7pm CDT (Dean & Barbra White Community Center)

Porter County – June22, 4-7pm CDT (Chesterton Town Hall)

LaPorte County – June 21, 4-7pm CDT (Michigan City Public Library)

Be Part of the Discussion!

NIRPC wants to hear from YOU – our Region’s residents – on how to create a plan that addresses our concerns today, and chart a future that’s Connected, Renewed, United, and Vibrant into 2050. There are two ways to help us by clicking the QR code below. First, there is an interactive map where we invite you to mark areas for new ideas in our Region. This will help our project team focus efforts when drafting priorities. Second, a survey has also been included which will help NIRPC identify your visions for the future of Northwest Indiana.