NWI 2050+

The formatted version of NWI 2050+ submitted for approval to the NIRPC Commission is available here.

Chapter 1: Introduction (final draft)
Chapter 2: Active Transportation (final draft)
Chapter 3: Climate (final draft)
Chapter 4: Freight (final draft)
Chapter 5: Land Use (final draft)
Chapter 6: Roads (final draft)
Chapter 7: Transit (final draft)

After 18 months of feedback with Region stakeholders from Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties, the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) is proud to announce the final draft NWI 2050+ is ready for your viewing! This document builds on the main themes of NWI 2050 envisioning a Region which is connected, renewed, united, and vibrant. NWI 2050+ takes a deeper dive into several topics of importance to Northwest Indiana including roadways, transit, freight traffic, active transportation networks, land use patterns, and climate change.

This final draft was approved by the NIRPC Executive Board at their meeting held July 20, 2023.


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, NIRPC’s 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan 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 Plan Update Companion was subsequently released in 2015. By 2019, NWI 2050 was released with four Key Elements which envisioned our Region as ConnectedRenewedUnited, and Vibrant. Each of these elements were further analyzed using four Focus Areas which included Economy & PlaceEnvironmentMobility, and People & Leaders. The results produced action plans to address several possible future states so that these policies could engage those stakeholders best suited to implement them.Today NIRPC is engaged in updating NWI 2050 as NWI 2050+, 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 collected data from Region residents on their feedback regarding the future of NWI per the plan’s focus areas.

Updating NWI 2050

NIRPC is committed to helping our member municipalities make great places happen! NWI 2050+ 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.


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+ development process will be initiated before the consultants are selected and under contract. The general phases are:

Public Engagement

NWI 2050+ Open Houses


Wednesday, April 5:

4:00 -6:00 p.m.
Dean & Barbara White Community Center
6600 Broadway Merrillville, IN

Monday, April 10:

4:00 – 6:00 pm.
Purdue NW (Student Union Library Room 321)
2233 173rd Street, Hammond, IN

Wednesday, April 12:

4:00 – 6:00 pm.
Michigan City Public Library
100 E. 4th St., Michigan City, IN

Thursday, April 13:

4:00 – 6:00 pm.
Porter County Government Center
(Commissioner Main Meeting Chambers)
155 Indiana Ave, Valparaiso, IN

Previous Events

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

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

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

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

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

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)