6100 Southport Road

Portage, Indiana 46368

(219) 763-6060



Thursday, January 6, 2022, 1:30 PM Zoom Info: Meeting ID: 843 3746 6096 Passcode: 332045

Dial in: (312) 626 6799 AGENDA

1.0 Welcome and Introductions

2.0 Approval of Minutes of October 7, 2021 Meeting (pp. 1 – 3)

Action Required: Approval

    1. Ped

    2. Bike Map Application - Update

    3. Old Plank Road Trail Study – Update

    4. IIJA Passage & Active Transportation Funding – Update

    1. Pedal

    2. Update from South Shore Trails

    3. Trail Counters – Update

    4. Data Bike - Update

    5. FEATURE PRESENTATION: Marquette Greenway RAISE Award: Next Steps

    1. Paddle

    2. Update from NW Indiana Paddling Association

    1. Grab Bag

    2. Announcements

      a. Year of the Trails

    3. Project Updates

    4. Upcoming Events

7.0 Next 3PC Meeting – Thursday, May 26, 2022 – 1:30 PM at the NIRPC offices or Online Adjournment

Requests for alternate formats, please contact at least 72 hours prior to the meeting. Individuals with hearing impairments may contact us through the Indiana Relay 711 service by calling 711 or (800) 743-3333.

The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, familial status, parental status, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program.

Ped, Pedal & Paddle Committee Meeting Virtual Meeting

October 7, 2021 Minutes

This meeting was convened as an electronic meeting, pursuant to Governor Holcomb’s extended Executive Order 21-26. All persons were meeting remotely via Zoom platform that allowed for real time interaction and supported the public’s ability to observe and record the proceedings. When the agenda item was provided for public comment, this was supported as well. A roll call was taken to motion and approve the agenda items.

Andrew Kyres called the meeting to order at 1:31 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and a roll call. In attendance were Andrew Kyres (Crown Point), Brian Housh (RTC), David Wright (GPTC), Dave Peeler, Rob Mallinger, Mark O’Dell (Chesterton), Bryan Blazak (St. John), David Phelps, Donna Catalano, George Topoll (Union Township), Gerald Swets (St. John), John Yelkich, Junell O’Donnell, Sarah Nimetz, Shannon Eason (City of Michigan), Don Parker (SST), and Don Oliphant (CBBEL).

NIRPC staff present were Meredith Stilwell, Kevin Polette, Candice Eklund, Thomas Dow, Mitch Barloga, and Flor Baum.

There were no public comments.

The minutes of the October 7, 2021 meeting were approved on motion by Mark O’Dell and second by Gerald Swets.


Mitch presented on the bike map application updates. Northeast Illinois and the south suburbs of Chicago have been added to work with My City Bikes and Calumet Collaborative. The bike map app is anticipated to go live by the end of October. Entities will be able to add on to the map, such as business district identification. There will be a fee to the entities for add-on information.

Mitch announced The America Walks Webinar, Harmful Jaywalking Laws in BIPOC Communities

will be on October 15. Registration is free. laws/


Brian Housh (RTC) presented on Indiana’s Year of the Trails. Year of the Trails is for all non-motorized use. The kickoff will be October 23 and will end October of 2022. This is an opportunity for state and locally elected officials to talk about the trails and Indiana’s legislative agenda for the trails. A toolkit is currently being worked on includes banners and social media information. Rails to Trails can assist with funding to those communities who will have events on October 23.

Mitch Barloga spoke on the Next Level Trails (NLT) Funding and Federal Funding Updates. The current NLT cycle is active and in its third round. It is offering $25M to regionally significant projects, and $10M for locally significant projects. Eligible match entails monetary contributions, land value, and in-kind donations of materials and labor. NIRPC encourages interested communities to submit their application before the December 1 deadline.

Mitch spoke on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) overview. It will allow $944B in spending over the next five years. The bill has passed through The Senate, but not The House. Highlights of the IIJA include the following: Significant investments in addressing at-grade rail crossings; Creates new bridge investment program/s; Modernizes public transit; New investments in Vision Zero projects; New climate initiatives; Funding to improve the electric grid; Boosting environmental funding for wildlife crossings & brownfield restoration. NIRPC will obtain guidance about the new programs and division of funds by state and MPO’s over the next year. For more information, please contact Mitch at

David Wright presented on Downtown Gary Tactical Urbanism (DGTU). Tactical Urbanism Solutions is an approach to neighborhood building, using short-term, low-cost, and scalable interventions & policies.

Notable examples of DGTU are Douglas Park (Ft. Wayne) and Martindale-Brightwood Wayfinding (Indianapolis). It included parklets and a bike trail. Over the past 15 years, there has been residential development (RD) in Downtown Gary, starting with The Horseman Townhomes. Another notable RD is the Dalton Arms being one of the larges historic preservation projects in Gary. The Broadway Lofts are another RD that is in the construction phase, and it will be the most significant TOD project since IUN. The Broadway Lofts will be in walking distance from transit stops. 21st Century Charter School has made downtown Gary their learning lab. The artistic environment has provided street art and sculptures to be installed in downtown and transit locations. The BMX was launched three years ago on the Broadway corridor; the states first rapid bus system. There has been a 30% ridership increase after the first year (prior to COVID). The corridor features accessible, low-impact stations, 25 stop pairs, solar lighting, technology (mobile passes), and on schedule to be Indiana’s second electric bus line in 2022. There are first mile/ last mile issues. The 900 block of Broadway has crumbling sidewalks, no crosswalks connecting retail activities to bidirectional stations over a state highway. The City of Gary has applied for a Tactical Urbanism grant from The Indiana State Department of Health and have received letters of support from NIRPC. The target populations are as follow: transit riders, children (transit and pedestrian), seniors (transit and pedestrian), the disabled, shoppers, and visitors. The project goals for funding the program include the following: crosswalks, improve infrastructure, improve pedestrian environment, and promote transit use. Public input is encouraged, such as polling on social media for priorities and scope. The art installations and historical downtown buildings have been identified and will be highlighted as connections to the Metro Center and other stops. The anticipated budget for the wayfinding is $10K and the crosswalks are $16K. The next steps will call for an assessment for the DOH that will review the impact and improvements stemming from the project’s completion. For more information, please contact David Wright at


Rob Mallinger reported on the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association (NWIPA). Core activities have been cautiously but effectively resumed. Five events have been held and sold out, which is fewer than in years past. NWIPA also submitted a request to remove several log jams on both Trail Creek and the East branch of the Little Calumet River. DNR has approved the requests. Both waterways have been open all summer with few obstructions. NWIPA website has also been update. The Kankakee Water Trails (KWT) website (privately hosted) will be decommissioned. NWIPA is considering taking on the KWT website and is currently working on funding for the project. The Deep River has been lowered in several stretches and there is concern about the effects on the ability to paddle. NWIPA has facilitated a discussion, brokered by Purdue University, about programs and site development along the West brand of the Little Calumet River. The purpose is to reach populations that have not had access to water recreation within that watershed. The partnership with Shirley Hines on the East branch watershed (Porter) has been successful in keeping the blue ways together. Some miles have been put in already. A joint development project for a boat launch and new hiking trails adjacent to the river has also been launched in Porter.

Grab Bag

Mitch showed the Emerging Trails video which focused on a safe route to school policy.

Announcements Announcements were made.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 6, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. Hearing no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:42 p.m.