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The

The

Marquette Action Plan


A Plan by the

Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission

Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC)

Tyson Warner, AICP

Executive Director


Kathy Luther

Chief of Staff


Eman Ibrahim

Planning Manager


Sarah Geinosky Former GIS Analyst Project Manager


Gabrielle Biciunas

Long-Range Planner


James Winters

Transit Planner


Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA)

Bill Hanna

President and CEO


Policy Analytics William Sheldrake President

Jason O’Neill

Senior Consultant

Table of Contents

4 Introduction

  1. History of the Marquette Plan

  2. Overview

  3. Need for an Action Plan

  4. Lake Michigan Shoreline Access

  5. Outreach

  6. Survey Results

  1. Regional Approach

  2. Current Regionwide Shoreline Access

16 Accessibility for All

18 Pedestrian and Bicycle Access

20 Canoe and Kayak Access

22 Fishing Access

24 Parking Access

26 Access by Public Transit

28 Planning Coordination

30 Tourism, Marketing, and Wayfinding Coordination

  1. Community Approach

  2. Hammond

38 Whiting

42 East Chicago

46 Gary West

50 Gary East

54 Portage and Ogden Dunes

58 Burns Harbor and Dune Acres

62 Indiana Dunes State Park, the Town of Porter, and Chesterton

66 Beverly Shores, the Town of Pines, and the National Lakeshore East

70 Michigan City, Long Beach, and Michiana Shores

74 Finance and Maintenance


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The

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Marquette Action Plan


For more information visit http://www.rdatransformation.com/


A Plan by

The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission June 2018


www.nirpc.org

Requests for alternate formats: please contact NIRPC at (219) 763-6060 or nirpc@nirpc.org. Individuals with hear 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.


Funding for this project was provided in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Lake Michigan Coastal Program, and the Regional Development Authority.



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Whiting prioritizes improving Whiting Park and increasing the park’s transportation connections with neighboring communities and regional green infrastructure assets, as well as expanding the city’s commercial district.Additionally the city hopes to encourage tourism by increasing recreational attractions.

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Whiting prioritizes improving Whiting Park and increasing the park’s transportation connections with neighboring communities and regional green infrastructure assets, as well as expanding the city’s commercial district.Additionally the city hopes to encourage tourism by increasing recreational attractions.


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The

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History of the Marquette Plan

In the last 12 years, the Marquette Plan has undergone three iterations in which the goals and recommendations have shifted, but the vision of a livable lakefront has remained unchanged. Beginning in 2003, Phase I was completed in 2005 as a collaborative effort of the lakefront communities of East Chicago, Gary, Hammond, Portage, Whiting, the office of Congressman Pete Visclosky, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to develop a comprehensive land use vision to guide reinvestment efforts. The goal was to reclaim Indiana’s lakefront – from the Indiana/Illinois state line to the Port of Indiana in Portage – as a livable lakefront. The Plan was built on the underlying assumption that as lakefront industries required less land, the vacant space could be made accessible to the public. The Plan recommends a changing landscape where more compact industries co-exist with public parks, mixed-use neighborhoods, and business-oriented developments. It includes recommendations to capture over ten miles of reclaimed, publicly accessible lakeshore with up to 2,500 acres of voluntarily reclaimed land for parks and open space and nearly one hundred miles of land and water based trails that connect to miles of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to the east and Chicago’s twenty-three-mile green ribbon of parks to the west. The Plan achieves approximately 1,500 acres of reclaimed industrial brownfields and underutilized lands for economic development.

Phase II extends the study area to include the additional twenty-six miles of lakefront in Porter and LaPorte Counties. The area encompasses two cities, eleven towns, two counties, and serves as home to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana Dunes State Park, and the Port of Indiana. The Plan re-emphasizes the need for collaboration across the region. Toward that end, a series of multi-jurisdictional community- endorsed short term projects were identified to unite the diverse stakeholders of the study area.

The Marquette Plan 2015 served to integrate the vision and strategies of these two earlier phases across the entire region by establishing more consistency between the plan’s priorities and policy frameworks. This update celebrates successes achieved since the plan’s inception, identifies challenges towards implementation, and explores new opportunities along the lakefront. The Plan also reviews shifts in the economic development, environmental conservation, and neighborhood development goals across different sub-areas of Northwest Indiana’s lakefront. The Marquette Plan 2015 builds on the vision and principles of the original two phases of the plan. It continues to emphasize the importance of Lake Michigan as the greatest natural asset of our region, and the need to increase public access to its shoreline. The Plan prioritizes improving the physical, social, and economic connections throughout Northwest Indiana’s lakefront communities, expanding and improving the region’s trail and transportation infrastructure, and protecting the long term health of our environment and natural resources.


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5

IntroductIon


Overview



On average, there is one access point of lakefront every two miles within the 45 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline in Northwest Indiana.

On average, there is one access point of lakefront every two miles within the 45 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline in Northwest Indiana.

Northwest Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline is the region’s gem. It boasts beautiful and important natural space, vibrant communities, and vital industries. Experiencing the lake is the right of every resident of Northwest Indiana. The vision of an open and accessible lakefront is shared by all, and this vision includes making the lakefront’s amenities more accessible. The Marquette Action Plan seeks to realize that vision by identifying barriers to accessing Lake Michigan and making recommendations to overcome them.


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The

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Need for an Action Plan


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How public entities can enhance existing public access and create new access?

How public entities can enhance existing public access and create new access?

While the first three iterations of the Marquette Plan highlighted individual and collective efforts to advance the goal of a livable and accessible lakefront, the Marquette Action Plan (MAP) aims to build on those plans by identifying specific steps to make the lakefront more accessible. The MAP identifies land across Northwest Indiana’s shoreline that may feasibly be transformed into new publicly-accessible areas for conservation, recreation, amenities, and livable communities. The Plan defines different categories of access across the lakefront and identifies a means for accommodating those different uses on a region- wide level.


The MAP is broken up into three sections. The first section focuses on regional approaches to access, the second details where specific improvements could be made and the final section details ways to fund and maintain these improvements. The MAP focuses on eight regional themes as a means to improve lakefront access: accessibility for all; pedestrian and bicycle access; canoe and kayak access; fishing access; parking access; public transit; planning and tourism coordination.


The MAP is written to be a reference for communities, advocates, and residents throughout the Northwest Indiana region and to push the needle a little closer to the vision of an open and accessible lakefront

for all.

Whiting Lakefront Park


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IntroductIon

Lake Michigan Shoreline Access


The Marquette Plan’s main vision is to increase public shoreline access from approximately 33% to over 75%, and to provide a 1000 ft minimum setback for new development. Since the beginning of the Marquette Plan, 76% of that goal has been achieved. Portions of the lakefront still contain active industries and are major economic engines for the region, and their presence is an important asset.


Much of this plan is focused on the smaller changes that could occur to allow more people to enjoy Lake Michigan and to further reach the goal of an accessible lakefront. Other forms of accessibility are also considered in this action plan. Because of the collaboration of leaders such as Congressman Visclosky, IDNR, lakefront communities, RDA, NIRPC, and the passionate residents and stakeholders, the shoreline’s public accessibility achieved 66% of the goal by 2017. Some areas of the lakefront have opened to public access since the first phase of the Marquette Plan in 2005, such as the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk. With the implementation of the MAP recommendations, the goal achieved could reach 76%.


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2003 Goal: 75% Lake Access = 33.8 miles


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Before 2003

Before the Marquette Plan

2003‐2017

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After Marquette Plan I, II, and the Update

After 2017

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With the Implementation of the Action Plan


Goal Achievement =

44%

14.85 miles

Goal Achievement =

66%

22.3 miles

Goal Achievement=

76%

    1. miles


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      Outreach


      Outreach was a key component of the planning process. Several methods were used to engage residents and capture valuable input including a survey, focus meetings, and one on one meetings with community stakeholders.

      An internet survey kicked off the Marquette Action Plan in April 2016 and was designed to create a wide sample from across the region. The survey was distributed in paper and digital formats, posted on NIRPC’s website and all social media platforms, announced at meetings, and shared with partner agencies and organizations. The goal of the survey was to identify challenges to lakefront access from residents in Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties and capture statistically significant portions of different groups in the region.

      In addition to the survey, the project team held a meeting with select stakeholders to discuss the results of the survey. The stakeholders, who represented lakefront communities and different advocacy organizations, outlined the region’s access needs. The results of the meeting led to the regional approaches chapter in this document. The team also held one-on-one meetings with members of the lakefront communities to discuss their strengths and needs.

      Online Survey


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      IntroductIon


      Survey Results

      The survey results provided valuable information on lakefront accessibility. 30% of respondents indicated they “can access Lake Michigan, but they wish it was easier,” 10% indicated they “can access Lake Michigan, but it is difficult,” and 2% indicated they cannot access Lake Michigan at all. Of the respondents who could not access Lake Michigan, most indicated that access was limited, could not walk to the lake, no public transit, and limited accessibility features at lakefront locations. See Figure A.


      Figure A - Lake Michigan Access


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      74


      207

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      207

      Yes. I have no problem accessing Lake Michigan.

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      96


      112

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      96


      112

      Yes. I can access Lake Michigan, but I wish it was easier

      Yes. I can access Lake Michigan, but it is difficult.

      No. I cannot access Lake Michigan.


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      36


      67

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      36


      67

      Lake Porter LaPorte


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      Figure B - Where did you access Lake Michigan?


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      IntroductIon


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      Figure C - How did you access Lake Michigan?


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      94% of respondents who took the survey live within the Northwest Indiana region, and 56% of respondents live within the Marquette planning area, demonstrating that residents care about access to the lake even if they do not live within close proximity. 39% of respondents live in Porter County, 33% live in Lake County, and 15% live in LaPorte County. See Figure B.

      69% of Porter County residents had no problem accessing the lake, 55% of Lake County residents indicated some problem accessing the lake, and in LaPorte County, 58% indicated no trouble accessing Lake Michigan. When asked which lakefront access locations visited in the last 12 months, most visited locations within their County. In summary, local lakefront access points have significance in Northwest

      Drove a car Walked Biked Took a boat Did not

      access Lake Michigan at all

      Did not

      access Lake Michigan in Northwestern Indiana

      Took a bus or

      train

      Other

      Indiana, as residents prefer not to travel far for lakefront access and desire quicker, closer, and various travel choices to access the lake.

      As shown in Figure C, without using a personal vehicle, access to

      Figure D - Preferred future access to Lake Michigan?

      the lake is limited and very few respondents were able to reach the lake via public transportation. 82% of respondents who access the lake drove a car, 30% walked and 14% biked. As for future access to the lake, 33% prefer to bike, 24% prefer to take transit, and 17% prefer to walk. See Figure D.

      Over 31% of reponsdents stated that roads and parking lots are very important transportation improvements neccessary to access the lake.


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      Whiting prioritizes improving Whiting Park and increasing the park’s transportation connections with neighboring communities and regional green infrastructure assets, as well as expanding the city’s commercial district.Additionally the city hopes to encourage tourism by increasing recreational attractions.


      TTMMararquettquetteeAAccttiioonn hehe TheMarquette Action

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      TTMMararquettquetteeAAccttiioonn hehe TheMarquette Action

      Whiting prioritizes improving Whiting Park and increasing the park’s transportation connections with neighboring communities and regional green infrastructure assets, as well as expanding the city’s commercial district.Additionally the city hopes to encourage tourism by increasing recreational attractions.


      The

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      According to Figure E, lakefront beaches, conservation lands, public parks, and pedestrian and biking facilities were the most important amenities to residents. In summary, the survey was instrumental in highlighting how important access to Lake Michigan is for residents.


      Figure E - Important Amenities


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      Regional Approach


      Creating better access to Lake Michigan requires building on existing momentum and learning from successes. Several regional, state, and national partners are collaborating closely to realize the goals of the Marquette Plan including, NIRPC, RDA, DNR Coastal Program, Indiana Dunes State Park, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the tourism bureaus. The long-term goal is to reach 75% of publicly accessible shoreline, in the meantime, there are regional approaches to enhance current access. This section will further explain the different approaches to reaching the lakefront, including accessibility for all; pedestrian and bicycle access; canoe and kayak access; fishing access; parking access; public transit; planning and tourism coordination.


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      Current Regionwide Shoreline Access

      The Plan defines explored opportunities as potential public access locations that require further plans. If these explored opportunities are

      incorporated, an additional 7% (3.84 miles) of the lakefront will be publicly accessible.

      The map below highlights the region’s current access locations to the shoreline in green, currently inaccessible lakeshore in red and the explored opportunities shown in gold were studied by the planning team for public access potential.


      • Inaccessible - an area that is not currently available for public use.


      • Explored Opportunities - an area that has a potential for public use and needs further investigation through private public partnerships.


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regIonal approach


Current Access Locations

  1. Hammond Lakefront Park and Marina

  2. Whihala Beach

  3. Whiting Lakefront Park

  4. Jeorse Park

  5. Miller Woods (IDNL)

  6. Marquette Park

  7. Miller Beach

  8. West Beach (IDNL)

  9. Ogden Dunes

  10. Portage Lakefront Park and Riverwalk (IDNL)

  11. Port of Indiana Boat Launch


  12. Cowles Bog (IDNL)

  13. Dune Acres (IDNL)

  14. Porter Beach (IDNL)

  15. Indiana Dunes State Park

  16. Kemil Beach (IDNL)

  17. Lakeview Beach (IDNL)

  18. Beverly Shores (IDNL)

  19. Central Avenue Beach (IDNL)


  20. Mount Baldy (IDNL)

  21. Washington Park

  22. Long Beach


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Accessibility for All


Universal design is the composition and design of the built environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all ages and abilities. While this is taken into consideration more and more at the lakefront parks, there are still barriers for many people. Removing these barriers is paramount for advancing the goal of accessibility for all. In addition to improving universal accessibility at the parks, communities should focus on providing accessible transportation options to the parks, such as buses, shuttles, and sidewalks.


ADA Accessible Kayak and Canoe Launch in Marquette Park, Gary

Best Practices

Wide, well-maintained sidewalks and trails with curb ramps and tactile paving at intersections - These provide clear paths for people who have mobility or visual impairments and have the added benefit of improving the experiences of people pushing strollers or pulling coolers. Sidewalks should be at least five feet wide.


Permanent beach paths or movable beach access mats - Smooth paths can connect mobility-impaired individuals to the lake. However, while the region’s sand movement often makes permanent paths unfeasible, mobile beach mats provide an effective solution.


Accessible canoe and kayak launches - Specially designed launches for paddlers with disabilities make it easier for everyone to enter a canoe or kayak. These should be connected to the rest of the park with wide paths that have gentle slopes.


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regIonal approach


Existing ADA Access Recommeded ADA Access

  1. Lakefront Park is largely ADA accessible and includes a mobile beach path

  2. Jeorse Beach includes accessibility features, including an ADA compliant playground

  3. ADA-accessible canoe/kayak launch in Marquette Park

  4. Ramps to breakwater and Riverwalk in Portage Lakefront Park

  5. Mobile beach paths at Washington Park

  6. ADA-accessible canoe/kayak launch along Trail Creek

    1. Build accessibility features on the west end of the bird sanctuary

    2. Complete Gary Green Link with needed accessibility features*

    3. Implement the Barrier-Free Beach Plan

    4. Continue upgrade of accessibility infrastructure in town center

    5. Improve ADA access at the State Park

    6. Add accessibility features at the Kemil, Lake

      View, Central, and Beverly Shores Beaches

    7. Explore the possibility of building ramp to the lighthouse

      catwalk



      * http://www.garyredev.org/gary-green-link.html


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      Pedestrian and Bicycle Access


      Biking or walking is the first choice for many when it comes to visiting Lake Michigan. Northwest Indiana has seen tremendous growth in its trail system and biking infrastructure, and many of these improvements have directly impacted how easy it is to get to the lake. The Marquette Trail in particular has been instrumental to improving connectivity for people using non-motorized means of transportation. NICTD’s Bikes on Trains initiative leverages these assets and makes it easier for people from outside the region to get to the lake without a car. It is crucial to implement the Marquette Trail and its spurs, in addition to improving sidewalks

      and paths which lead to the lake.


      Barrier protected multi-modal trail and wayfinding

      at the Indiana Dunes State Park


      Protected crossings at railroad tracks in

      Whiting

      Best Practices

      Barrier or buffer protected bike lanes – Bikers feel more comfortable when there is something separating them from traffic. By installing these features, bicycling will feel safer for everyone.


      Asphalt trails – Paving trails makes it more comfortable for all trail users.

      They are also less likely to be affected by flooding.


      Wayfinding and mapping – An easy-to-understand and coordinated

      approach to wayfinding ensures that visitors always know where they are going.


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      regIonal approach


      Built Trails

      1. Marquette Greenway State Line

      2. Whihala Beach Trail (MG)

      3. Wolf Lake Trail (MG)

      4. George Lake Trail (MG)

      5. Hammond (MG)

      6. Gary Green Link (MG)

      7. Miller Woods Trail (IDNL)

      8. Bike share in Miller Beach

      9. Oak Avenue and Marquette Drive Bike Lanes

      10. Miller Marquette Trail (MG)

      11. West Beach Trails (IDNL)

      12. NIRPC Trail (MG)

      13. Cowles Bog Trail (IDNL)

      14. Brickyard Trail (IDNL) (MG)

      15. Dunes Kankakee Trail (MG)

      16. Indiana Dunes State Park Trails

      17. Calumet Trail (MG)

      18. Michigan City Bike Lanes


        (MG) = Marquette Greenway

        (IDNL) = Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

        Planned Trails

        1. Marquette Greenway to Erie-Lackawanna Trail Connector

        2. East Chicago (MG)

        3. East Chicago Harbor Bike Lanes

        4. Marquette Greenway - Gary

        5. Trail adjacent to Airport Road

        6. Marquette Greenway - Miller Woods

        7. Bike & Pedestrian Improvements along Lake Street, Grand Avenue and US 20 in Miller

        8. Marquette Greenway - West Beach, Ogden Dunes & Portage

        9. Improve Bicycle Infrastructure in Ogden Dunes

        10. Marquette Greenway - Burns Harbor

        11. Improve bicycle infrastructure in Dunes Acres

        12. Dunes Kankakee Trail

        13. Add bicycle storage

          facilities at Beverly Shores area beaches

        14. Singing Sands Trail (MG)

        15. Lincoln Memorial Trail

        16. Improve bicycle infrastructure in Long Beach

        17. Marquette Greenway

          - LaPorte Co into Michigan


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          Canoe and Kayak Access

          Boat launch at Whiting Lakefront Kayak storage in Beverly Shores


          Paddling provides the opportunity to see the Lake Michigan shoreline in a new light. Awareness of canoeing and kayaking in the region has been growing, and groups like the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association have successfully advocated for improved paddling infrastructure both on Lake Michigan and its inland waterways. In order to continue to improve paddling opportunities, work should focus on clearing waterways of debris and adding amenities along the shoreline. These improvements will make it easier for paddlers of all types and experience

          levels to appreciate the region’s waterways.


          Best Practices

          Boat rentals – For those without their own equipment, having the option to rent a canoe or kayak can allow them the opportunity to see Lake Michigan and other waterways in a new way.


          Clean and clear waterways – Removing debris and trash from the region’s waterways makes the rivers and streams clear and easy to paddle. The Northwest Indiana Paddling Association organizes water sampling and stream cleanups.


          Easy access points– Getting into the water is the first step to paddling, and access points should be easy-to-find and easy-to-use. Launches should include clear signage and wayfinding and ADA accessibility features.


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          Exisiting Water Trails

          1. Hammond Marina

          2. Whihala Beach

          3. East Chicago Marina

          4. Lake Street Boat Launch

          5. Marquette Park Lagoon (ADA Accessible)

          6. Marquette Park

          7. Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk (IDNL)

          8. Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk South Property

          9. Portage Public Marina

          10. Port of Indiana Launch

          11. Indiana Dunes State Park

          12. Kemil Beach (IDNL)

          13. Lake View Beach (IDNL)

          14. Washington Park

          15. Trail Creek (ADA-accessible)

            Recommended Water Trails

            1. Canoe/kayak launch along Indiana Harbor Canal.

            2. Incorporate, if feasible, boat launches to

              Buffington Harbor redevelopment.

            3. Canoe/kayak launch along the East Branch of the Calumet River in Burns Harbor.

            4. Canoe/kayak launch along the East Branch of Calumet River in the Town of Porter.

            5. Encourage boat launch at Washington Park to include small craft and ADA accessibility.

            6. Build planned kayak launch at Winding Creek Cove

              Park.

              (IDNL) = Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore


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              Fishing Access

              Life preservers along Trail Creek in Michigan City


              Several sites along Northwest Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline provide shore based anglers access to this diverse fishery. In the recent past, a slightly greater number of sites existed at some industrial facilities, such as the Dean Mitchell Generating Station, and these sites allowed or provided public fishing access. Anglers tended to favor these areas because the shoreline structure and warm water discharges would hold fish throughout large portions of the year. Today, a majority of the remaining shoreline fishing

              access sites are associated with public parks and marinas.


              Best Practices

              Safe access to the waterline - Ideally sites will have a flat smooth surface, such as concrete pad, no higher than 3-4 feet above the ordinary high waterline so that anglers do not have to climb down or hang over an edge to try and net their catch.


              Emergency ladders and lifesaving equipment - Emergency ladders provide a clearly marked emergency exit point for anglers that accidently fall or are washed from the shore into the lake. Emergency lifesaving equipment such as throw rings can be deployed to rescue anglers or others that fall or are washed from shore into the lake.


              ADA-accessible fishing platforms - Entrances to breakwaters and other fishing sites should include wide and smooth paths with light slopes whenever possible.


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              Existing Fishing Acess

              1. Hammond Marina and Fishing Pier

              2. Whihala Beach and Whiting Lakefront Park

              3. Pastrick Marina and Jeorse Park Breakwater

              4. Marquette Park Lagoon

              5. Portage Lakefront Park Breakwater

              6. Port of Indiana Access Point

              7. Michigan City Lighthouse

              8. IDNR Office on Trail Creek

                Recommended Fishing Access

                1. State Line Energy

                2. Majestic Star Casino Breakwater


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                  Parking Access

                  Large numbers of people who come to experience the lakefront take their cars, which means they need to park. Parking at the lakefront parks is generally easy; it is both plentiful and nearby. Despite this, parking is often difficult during peak periods such as summer weekends. There is little room to expand current parking lots, and creative means of improving parking access are needed. Using intelligent signs to inform visitors of full lots would reduce driving as patrons look for spots. Opening up remote lots with shuttles would make it possible to accommodate excess capacity. Finally, the lakefront needs strategies that encourage

                  other means of access besides the car.

                  Electric Vehicle Charging Station in Michigan City’s Washington Park


                  Best Practices

                  Electric shuttles – Many of the region’s lakefront parking lots are massive, and moving from one end to the beach at the other while lugging coolers and towels is an obstacle for some. Electric shuttles can operate within the parking lot.

                  Remote parking for peak periods – Key summer weekends see the most traffic, and few of the lake’s parking lots are built to handle this traffic. Remote parking lots that are connected to the beaches by a shuttle would reduce strain at nearby parking lots and ensure that capacity is not a problem.

                  Intelligent transportation systems – Drivers will spend less time driving around looking for a parking spot if they can see how full the parking lot is. Additionally, an app or a website could identify where parking lots are full and direct visitors to available parking.

                  Electric vehicle charging stations – More and more parking lots are incorporating charging stations for electric vehicles. Placing these stations closer to the beach than the majority of other parking spots encourages people to use electric vehicles when they can.


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                  Exisiting Parking

                  1. Hammond Marina ($)

                  2. Whihala Beach ($)

                  3. Whiting Lakefront Park ($)

                  4. East Chicago Marina

                  5. Jeorse Park

                  6. Lake Street Beach ($)

                  7. Marquette Park ($)

                  8. West Beach (IDNL) ($)

                  9. Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk (IDNL)

                  10. Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk overflow

                    parking

                  11. Porter Beach (IDNL)

                  12. Indiana Dunes State Park ($)

                  13. Kemil Beach (IDNL)

                  14. Lake View Beach (IDNL)

                  15. Central Beach (IDNL)

                  16. Mt. Baldy (IDNL)

                  17. Washington Park ($)


Recommended Parking

A. Add more parking through the development of the Johnson Inn property adjacent to Porter Beach.

B. Pilot shuttle between the Indiana

Dunes Visitor Center & the State Park.

C. Build remote parking for visitors on old

brownfield sites.

regIonal approach

($) = Paid Parking

(IDNL) = Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore


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Access by Public Transit


While the communities adjacent to Lake Michigan have on average better transit access than the rest of the region, using buses to access the lake remains difficult. The region is served by a combination of the South Shore Rail Line, fixed route buses, and demand response transit service, however the region’s systems are fragmented. Demand response transit have limited service areas and traveling between service areas can be very difficult. Michigan City, East Chicago, and Gary have reliable fixed route service, but the residents of the dense lakeside communities of Hammond and Whiting are left without fixed route options. The South Shore Rail Line offers a way for out-of-region residents to reach the lake, but most stops are a significant walk from the beach and would benefit with bike and shuttle connections. Better coordination, advertisement, and implementing new

service in certain areas would significantly improve access.


Zagster bike share near South Shore station in Miller Beach, Gary

Best Practices

Coordinated and easy to use schedules – For users unfamiliar with buses, navigation of stops can be daunting. Entering schedules into the Google Transit Feed database would make it easier for people to find which bus they need to take on services such as Google Maps. At the very least, creating a place where people can see the schedules for all the region’s bus routes will make the lake more accessible.

Shuttles – In situations where a direct fixed route bus connection between South Shore stations or other attractions is unfeasible or unavailable, shuttles can move people between the beach and those attractions. Shuttles should be coordinated with train schedules.

Bikes and bike sharing – Bikes offer an easy way to close the gap between South Shore stations, town centers, and the lake. Allowing the public to bring their bikes on transit, like the South Shore line or the Gary Public Transit Corporation provides users this option. Another approach is to install bike-sharing systems to connect people from South Shore stations to the beach and other points of interest.


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Exisiting Transit Recommended Transit

regIonal access

1. Seasonal Whiting shuttle

2. East Chicago Transit

3. Gary Public Transit Corporation

4. Dune Buggy Shuttle from Miller South Shore station to beach

5. Michigan City Transit

A. Implement local bus service from downtown Hammond through Hammond South Shore station to Hammond Lakefront, downtown Whiting, & the lakefront.

B. Improve Clark Rd South Shore station.

C. Improve transit connections between Miller South Shore station & Marquette Park.

D. Implement shuttle between Dunes Learning Center & State Park.

E. Explore bike sharing between South Shore station & State

Park.


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The

The

Marquette Action Plan

Planning Coordination


Access to lakefront beaches and amenities is a shared regional interest and requires coordination among all lakefront communities. Many local and regional projects go beyond boundaries and require the sharing of open space, trails,

and transit to access the lakefront. The key is to maintain coordinated planning and communication while establishing opportunities to manage shared assets. Communities must continue to be encouraged to adopt regional planning efforts

in their comprehensive plans that best align with their vision.

Continuing coordination between the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and surrounding communities is vital.


Ecosystem restoration in East Chicago/Gary being conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, and East Chicago


Best Practices

Maintain communication between communities – In order to make sure communities and other interests do not duplicate efforts or do not make efforts that contradict others, communities should regularly discuss their lakefront plants. Ideally, a committee would meet to discuss this.


Planning and maintenance agreements – In many situations, clarifying which community or entity is responsible would ensure that the lakefront is being managed effectively.


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regIonal approach


Exisiting Coordination

1. Whiting coordinates management of Whihala Beach with the City of Hammond and Lake County.

2. East Chicago owns and operates the Gary portion of Jeorse Beach.

3. The City of Gary is currently coordinating with NICTD on future station improvements.

4. Burns Harbor, Portage, the Town of Porter and the National Lakeshore are working together on the Marquette Greenway.

Recommended Coordination

A. Improve trail connections between Hammond and Whiting.

B. Encourage coordination between Chesterton, the Town of Porter, and the Indiana Dunes State Park in comprehensive and recreation planning.


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The

The

Marquette Action Plan

Tourism, Marketing, and Wayfinding Coordination


The Lake Michigan shoreline offers stunning beaches and lakefront

amenities but reaching these destinations can be difficult to navigate.

Better coordination of wayfinding and signage to direct visitors

to the appropriate lakefront amenities, by way of biking, walking, car, and trains, can serve as a guide. The tourism bureaus promote outdoor activities through the annual Visitor’s Guide, social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), website listings, and blogs.

The South Shore Line has been successful with its Bikes on Trains program that helps promote access to beaches and other lakefront

destinations. Improving wayfinding and signage along US 12 and

US 20 for access to the communities, the National Lakeshore, and the State Park is key for visitors to access the lake.


Wayfinding at the Indiana Dunes State Park

Best Practices

Coordinated marketing - Marketing coordination exists between the tourism bureaus and communities. When improvements are made, tourism bureaus can highlight those offerings to visitors and residents.

Dig the Dunes - is a new complete social media platform marketing the beaches, trails, dunes, shops & restaurants, artists and the people.


Smartphone applications – Creating an app that maps the entire bike and water trail system in NW Indiana would make it easier for visitors and residents alike to find the trail they want to use. This would include helpful tips, directions, photos, and details about each trail.


Directional and informative signs – By providing directions and information needed to help those not familiar with the area, visitors will be more likely to see more of the lakefront.


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regIonal approach


Existing Marketing

1. Indiana Dunes Tourism is marketing Bikes on Trains at stations with high-level boarding

2. Whiting has wayfinding signage and participates in an extensive marketing campaign

3. Portage is working to produce signage for the Portage Lakefront

4. The Portage Lakefront is marketed on the City of Portage, Portage Parks, and National Lakeshore websites

5. Indiana Dunes Visitors Center

6. Michigan City is marketing itself with the slogan – “Create, Play, Repeat”

Recommended Improvements

A. Coordinate with Indiana Dunes Tourism for marketing & promoting the location of destinations reachable by bike at Hammond, East Chicago, and Dunes Park South Shore stations

B. Increase wayfinding signage that advertises

Whiting on major highways

C. Install wayfinding to direct out-of-town

visitors to Jeorse Park and Beach

D. Work with DNR & Land Trusts on appropriate singage and access, where appropriate

E. Install signs to help guide bikers and pedestrians to the Portage

Lakefront

F. Implement town wayfinding & place

making strategies in Burns Harbor

G. Update signage to reflect name change from Brickyard Trail to the Dunes-Kankakee Trail


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Lake View


Hammond


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East Chicago


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Portage


Beverly Shores


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Whiting

Northwest Indiana values intermodal proximity-based access to the lake. This value transcends every deciding factor for the regional population.

In spite of income, race, gender, or where an individual lives, nearly everyone wanted to travel as little

as possible to get to the lake as

often as they can.



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Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

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Community Approach


The survey highlighted the importance to provide and promote access in the communities where people live. Lake County residents are interested in creating more opportunities for access, Porter County residents wish to maintain their shoreline, and LaPorte County residents want to build on their existing assets. Each community section contains a list of recommendations that were informed by an analysis of current conditions and discussions with these communities.

When possible, this section also highlights possible property acquisitions that would open up more of the lakefront to public access. While these acquisitions would move the needle closer to creating a lakefront that is 75% open, they would also be expensive and in many cases subject to long environmental remediation processes. It is up to the region and individual communities to find the balance between pursuing these properties and making other improvements that would make the existing public lakefront easier to access by more people.

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The

The

Marquette Action Plan


Hammond Fishing pier at Hammond Marina

Overview

Hammond hopes to increase and enhance its multi-modal connectiv- ity by expanding trails and improving road connections to the area’s lakefront assets. Additionally, the city would like to improve the uni- versal accessibility of its lakefront by providing ADA infrastructure and a shuttle connection to the South Shore station.

Access Matrix

Current Conditions

Recommendations

Accessibility for People with Disabilities

» Accessible parking for people with disabilities is available near beach entrances.

» The city is interested in developing accessibility features in the west end of the bird sanctuary.

Bike and Pedestrian Access

» Hammond has a robust trail system connecting the community to Lake Michigan and assets like the Wolf Lake Pavilion.

» There is a trail connection at 112th Street and State Line Avenue (Avenue A).

» Connect the Marquette Greenway to the Illinois state line.

» Connect Calumet Avenue to Casino Center Drive and the adjacent path in Hammond by a safe pedestrian crossing.

Boat/Paddle Access

» The Hammond Marina serves both out-of-town boaters and locals.

» Paddlers can launch kayaks and canoes at Wolf Lake, as well as use the Lake Michigan Water Trails along the southern shore of Lake Michigan.

Fishing Access

» People can fish at Lake Michigan, George Lake, and Wolf Lake.

» Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

Parking Access

» There is ample parking along the lakefront and near Wolf Lake.

» Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

Planning Coordination

» Whiting, Hammond’s neighbor, operates Whihala beach.

» Improve the trail connections to Whiting’s parks and trail system.

Tourism, Marketing, and Wayfinding Coordination

» Indiana Dunes Tourism is marketing Bikes on Trains, which allows people to bring their bikes on stations with high-level boarding, including the Hammond station. This will provide development of bike guidance from the train to destinations of interest.

» Coordinate with Indiana Dunes Tourism for marketing and promoting the location of destinations in Hammond accessible by bike.

Transit Access

» North Hammond is currently only served by North Township dial- a-ride service.

» Hammond does not have any fixed route bus system. Service that connects to the South Shore station would be especially helpful.

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Current Conditions


1. Bi-state “Golden Spoke” trail connection.

2. Pedestrians and bicyclists can use a protected sidewalk on the overpass to cross the railroad tracks.

3. Calumet Avenue is fenced off from the casino, and cannot be used to access the lake by foot or bike.

4. Lake Avenue becomes a path at the railroad tracks to

facilitate non-motorized travel to Whihala Beach, Hammond Lakefront, and Marina.


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The

The

Marquette Action Plan

Recommendations


  1. Complete the Marquette Greenway connection to the state line that is funded for construction in 2018.

  2. Build a trail around the old State Line Energy site.

  3. Implement needed accessibility features for people with disabilities within Lakefront Park.

  4. Connect Calumet Avenue to Casino Center Drive and the adjacent path by a safe pedestrian crossing.

  5. Test and evaluate bus transit following the proposed GPTC Lakeshore North route, linking the South Shore station, downtown Hammond, and downtown Whiting to the beach.


Explored Opportunities

a. Segment A


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communIty approach - hammond


Explored Opportunities

Segment A

Mileage

0.89 (+1.67%)

Property Size

77.76 Acres




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"2"


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"2"

Amenities for dog owners


Beach signage


Marquette Trail

Hammond is currently working with the property owner to develop a trail on the south side of the State Line Energy property. The trail will act as a crucial bi-state connection. Additionally, the city and the property owner are exploring building a trail on the waterfront which would run around the rest of the property. This trail would open almost a mile of Lake Michigan coastline to the public and provide a place for anglers to fish. The entire parcel cannot be turned into open space because the functioning transformer/transmission equipment facilities are essential to electric grid and would be too difficult to remove.



us Stops "p" Canoe/ Kayak Launches Public Lakeshore Access

us Routes Trails Accessible outh Shore Stations "!l Fishing

outh Shore Line Open Spaces Inaccessible


us Stops "p" Canoe/ Kayak Launches Public Lakeshore Access

us Routes Trails Accessible outh Shore Stations "!l Fishing

outh Shore Line Open Spaces Inaccessible

B B S

S Bike parking


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The

The

Marquette Action Plan


Whiting Entrance sign at Whiting Lakefront Park

Overview

Whiting prioritizes improving Whiting Park and increasing the park’s transportation connections with neighboring communities and regional green infrastructure assets, as well as expanding the city’s commercial district. Additionally, the city hopes to encourage tourism by adding and enhancing recreational attractions.

Access Matrix

Current Conditions

Recommendations

Accessibility for People with Disabilities

» Whiting Lakefront Park is largely accessible to people with disabilities, with wide sidewalks, tactile paving, and a movable beach path connected to a ramp.

» Continue to implement ADA accessibility features as part of infrastructure improvements.

Bike and Pedestrian Access

» Whiting’s portion of the Marquette Trail is completed.

» The rail crossings at Front and 117th Street have pathways that are ADA accessible and clearly separated.

» The city should maintain the improvements at railroad crossings they have installed. While the crossings at 117th and Front are subject to long trains and delays, a flyover bridge is both costly and impossible because of the high tension wires on the north side of the crossing.

Boat/Paddle Access

» Whiting currently has a boat launch.

» Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

Fishing Access

» Anglers can fish off the shore and pier.

» Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

Parking Access

» Ample parking around the beach.

» Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

Planning Coordination

» The city currently coordinates with Hammond and Lake County over the management of Whihala Beach.

» Continue coordination with the City of Hammond and Lake County.

Tourism, Marketing, and Wayfinding Coordination

» Whiting has wayfinding signage along US 12/20 and all local

streets.

» An extensive marketing plan is implemented each year and numerous events are scheduled at Whiting Lakefront Park.

» The City’s Special Events Department works closely with the SSCVB and all dozens of local agencies each year to promote the assets.

» Complete the major project underway to increase the wayfinding signage on the major highways – I-65, the Indiana Toll Road, Chicago Skyway, and US 41. This project hopes to utilize state approved public attraction signage as well as paid billboard advertising.

Transit Access

» The City of Whiting and the Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce fund a local fixed route “seasonal” shuttle which transports people to most recreational assets and commercial venues in the area.

» Test and evaluate bus transit following the proposed GPTC Lakeshore North route, linking the South Shore Station, downtown Hammond, and downtown Whiting to the beach.

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Current Conditions


  1. Whihala Beach allows fishing for those with an Indiana fishing license.

  2. Whiting Lakefront Park has

    a fishing pier for those with proper Indiana fishing licenses.

  3. While Whiting is cut off from the lake by multiple train tracks which often block the entrances for cars and pedestrians, both 117th and Front Street have safe, separated sidewalks leading across the tracks to and from the Whiting Lakefront Park.


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"2"

Bus Stops Bus Routes

South Shore Stations

South Shore Line

"p"

"l!

Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

Fishing

Open Spaces

Public Lakeshore Access

Accessible

Inaccessible

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"2"

Bus Stops Bus Routes

South Shore Stations

South Shore Line

"p"

"l!

Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

Fishing

Open Spaces

Public Lakeshore Access

Accessible

Inaccessible

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The

The

Marquette Action Plan

Recommendations


A. Test and evaluate bus transit following the proposed GPTC Lakeshore North route, linking the South Shore Station, downtown Hammond, and downtown Whiting to the beach.


Explored Opportunities

  1. Segment B

  2. Segment C


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"2"

Bus Stops Bus Routes

South Shore Stations

South Shore Line

"p"

"!l

Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

Fishing

Open Spaces

Public Lakeshore Access

Accessible Inaccessible

Explored Opportunities

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"2"

Bus Stops Bus Routes

South Shore Stations

South Shore Line

"p"

"!l

Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

Fishing

Open Spaces

Public Lakeshore Access

Accessible Inaccessible

Explored Opportunities

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communIty approach - WhItIng


Explored Opportunities


Segment B

Mileage

0.29 (+0.54%)

Property Size

6.04 Acres


Paid Parking at Whihala Beach Signage at Whiting Lakefront Park



!! Bus Stops "p" Canoe/ Kayak Launches Public

Bus Routes Trails

"2" South Shore Stations "!l Fishing South Shore Line Open Spaces


!! Bus Stops "p" Canoe/ Kayak Launches Public

Bus Routes Trails

"2" South Shore Stations "!l Fishing South Shore Line Open Spaces

Whiting Fishing Pier


Protected pedestrian railroad crossings outside Whiting

Lakefront Park


Segment C

Mileage

0.48 (+0.91%)

Property Size

101.35 Acres

Segment C

Mileage

0.48 (+0.91%)

Property Size

101.35 Acres

While segments B and C would add

    1. miles of accessible shoreline to the lakefront, both of these segments operate as critical homeland security assets and would possibly be subject to extensive remediation. However, the City of Whiting recently acquired a portion of the beach directly adjacent to Whiting Lakefront Park and the parking lot behind the beach.



      akeshore Access

      Accessible

      Inaccessible


      akeshore Access

      Accessible

      Inaccessible

      L


      Movable beach map for universal accessibility at Whihala Beach


      441411

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      The

      The

      Marquette Action Plan


      EastChicago

      Access Matrix


      Overview

      Plans in the city encourage improving environmental health, increasing recreational amenities, remediating brownfield sites, enhancing green infrastructure, and supporting mixed use development. Additionally, the city hopes to improve pedestrian access to the lake.

      Current Conditions

      Recommendations

      Accessibility for People with Disabilities

      » Jeorse Park includes accessibility features, including an ADA compliant playground.

      » Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

      Bike and Pedestrian Access

      » The city is well served by sidewalks.

      » Completing a planned pedestrian bridge over Cline Avenue that connects Jeorse Park and Broadway. Accessing the lake with a bike or on foot is currently very difficult and requires walking or biking over a limited access ramp without sidewalks.

      » The Marquette Trail is planned to be built south of the Grand Calumet River, but is currently awaiting funding.

      Boat/Paddle Access

      » Boaters can launch from the marina. Current renovations to Jeorse Park include moving boat slips for canoes and kayaks.

      » Build paddling-supportive infrastructure along the southern portion of the Indiana Harbor Canal and the Grand Calumet River, connecting to Lake Michigan.

      Fishing Access

      » People can fish off the breakwater and the marina, and will be able to fish off the dock that will be built in the upcoming development.

      » Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

      Parking Access

      » There is a large parking lot at Jeorse Park and Beach.

      » Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

      Planning Coordination

      » ArcelorMittal has deeded over the portion of Jeorse Beach that sits in the City of Gary to East Chicago, so they can manage

      it. The City is currently coordinating with the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA to restore dune and swale habitat on the east portion of Jeorse Beach and explore modifying the breakwater, which impacts water quality at the beach.

      » Continue coordination with the EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the City of Gary.

      Tourism, Marketing, and

      Wayfinding Coordination

      » Signage is being improved at Jeorse Park and Beach.

      » Install wayfinding to direct out of town visitors to

      Jeorse Park and Beach.

      Transit Access

      » People in East Chicago can easily access the beach using public transit, and the majority live within an easy bus ride to the beach.

      » East Chicago buses have bike racks.

      » Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.


      42

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      Current Conditions


      1. Pedestrians and bicyclists can only access the lake using the overpass over the railroad tracks and Cline Avenue. Users must share lanes with cars.

      2. Fishers can use the breakwater.

      3. East Chicago Transit (Route West Calumet) operates to the marina and casino irregularly.



!!


"2"

Bus Stops Bus Routes

South Shore Stations

South Shore Line

"p"

"!l

Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

Fishing

Open Spaces

Public Lakeshore Access

Accessible

Inaccessible

!!


"2"

Bus Stops Bus Routes

South Shore Stations

South Shore Line

"p"

"!l

Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

Fishing

Open Spaces

Public Lakeshore Access

Accessible

Inaccessible

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The

The

Marquette Action Plan

Recommendations


  1. Finish construction of the Cline Avenue Bridge and open the rest of Cline Avenue to drivers.

  2. Implement planned bike trails and bike lanes in the Harbor neighborhood.

  3. Complete improvements at the Harbor Walk, including boat slips for paddling and fishing dock.

  4. Build planned pedestrian bridge over Cline Avenue, connecting the beach and Broadway.


    !!


    "2"

    Bus Stops Bus Routes

    South Shore Stations

    South Shore Line

    "p"

    "!l

    Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

    Fishing

    Open Spaces

    Public Lakeshore Access

    Accessible Inaccessible

    Explored Opportunities

    !!


    "2"

    Bus Stops Bus Routes

    South Shore Stations

    South Shore Line

    "p"

    "!l

    Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

    Fishing

    Open Spaces

    Public Lakeshore Access

    Accessible Inaccessible

    Explored Opportunities

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    communIty approach - east chIcago


    Fishing pier at Jeorse Park and Beach Bus stop at Jeorse Park and Beach


    ADA Accessible playground at Jeorse Park and Beach




    !! Bus Stops "p" Canoe/ Kayak Launc Bus Routes Trails

    "2" South Shore Stations "!l Fishing


    !! Bus Stops "p" Canoe/ Kayak Launc Bus Routes Trails

    "2" South Shore Stations "!l Fishing

    hes


    Ecosystem Restoration in East Chicago/Gary being conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, and East Chicago.



    Open Spaces

    Open Spaces

    Public beach facilities and shelter at Jeorse Park and Beach

    South Shore Line



    Public Lakeshore Access

    Accessible

    Inaccessible


    Public Lakeshore Access

    Accessible

    Inaccessible

    445455

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    The

    The

    Marquette Action Plan


    Gary West Site of ecosystem restoration in west Gary

    Overview

    The development of the Gary West lakefront district is focused on promoting logistics, warehousing and distribution, multi-modal shipping, and renewable energy production. There is, however, much interest in promoting public access and recreational development in synergy with Gary West’s existing land uses and the area’s distinct ecological assets.

    Current Conditions

    Recommendations

    Accessibility for People with Disabilities

    » No accessibility features are present in the area.

    » Complete Gary Green Link with wide paths and tactile paving.

    Bike and Pedestrian Access

    » There are no sidewalks or trails currently.

    » Improve connectivity between nature preserves and other area assets by completing this portion of the Marquette Greenway.

    » Build multi-use trail adjacent to Airport Road.

    Boat/Paddle Access

    » Currently there are no boat launches.

    » If Buffington Harbor is redeveloped, provide boat launches, if feasible.

    Fishing Access

    » Breakwater is only accessible from Majestic Star

    Casino. No other fishing access points exist.

    » Consider regulatory agencies to make public access part of permit or other access conditions.

    Parking Access

    » There is limited public parking next to the nature preserves, but none by the lake.

    » Provide public parking, either adjacent to the nature preserves or the lake, to create opportunities for people to enjoy those assets

    Planning Coordination

    » Unknown

    » Coordinate with the Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA, and the City of East Chicago to restore dune and swale habitat on the east portion of Jeorse Beach.

    Tourism, Marketing, and Wayfinding Coordination

    » None

    » City should work with DNR and Land Trusts on appropriate singage and access to natural areas in Gary.

    Transit Access

    » The Gary Public Transit Corporation stops at the Majestic Star Casino and the Gary-Chicago Airport.

    » Improve Clark Road South Shore station.

    Current Conditions

    Recommendations

    Accessibility for People with Disabilities

    » No accessibility features are present in the area.

    » Complete Gary Green Link with wide paths and tactile paving.

    Bike and Pedestrian Access

    » There are no sidewalks or trails currently.

    » Improve connectivity between nature preserves and other area assets by completing this portion of the Marquette Greenway.

    » Build multi-use trail adjacent to Airport Road.

    Boat/Paddle Access

    » Currently there are no boat launches.

    » If Buffington Harbor is redeveloped, provide boat launches, if feasible.

    Fishing Access

    » Breakwater is only accessible from Majestic Star

    Casino. No other fishing access points exist.

    » Consider regulatory agencies to make public access part of permit or other access conditions.

    Parking Access

    » There is limited public parking next to the nature preserves, but none by the lake.

    » Provide public parking, either adjacent to the nature preserves or the lake, to create opportunities for people to enjoy those assets

    Planning Coordination

    » Unknown

    » Coordinate with the Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA, and the City of East Chicago to restore dune and swale habitat on the east portion of Jeorse Beach.

    Tourism, Marketing, and Wayfinding Coordination

    » None

    » City should work with DNR and Land Trusts on appropriate singage and access to natural areas in Gary.

    Transit Access

    » The Gary Public Transit Corporation stops at the Majestic Star Casino and the Gary-Chicago Airport.

    » Improve Clark Road South Shore station.

    Access Matrix


    46

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    Current Conditions


    1. The portion of Jeorse Beach that sits in the city limits

      of Gary is managed by East Chicago.

    2. GPTC Bus 12 runs every hour to Majestic Star Casino from downtown Gary, East Chicago, and South Hammond.

    3. Clark Road is currently

under-built and cannot handle

a growth in auto traffic. Additionally, the road is too narrow to be used safely by pedestrians and bikers.


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"2"

Bus Stops Bus Routes

South Shore Stations

South Shore Line

"p"

"l!

Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

Fishing

Open Spaces

Public Lakeshore Access

Accessible

Inaccessible

!!


"2"

Bus Stops Bus Routes

South Shore Stations

South Shore Line

"p"

"l!

Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

Fishing

Open Spaces

Public Lakeshore Access

Accessible

Inaccessible

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The

The

Marquette Action Plan

Recommendations


  1. Negotiate with Majestic Star Casino to open breakwater to fishing.

  2. Investigate alternatives to Clark Road.


Explored Opportunities

  1. Segment D

  2. Segment E


    !!


    "2"

    Bus Stops Bus Routes

    South Shore Stations

    South Shore Line

    "p"

    "l!

    Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

    Fishing

    Open Spaces

    Public Lakeshore Access

    Accessible Inaccessible

    Explored Opportunities

    !!


    "2"

    Bus Stops Bus Routes

    South Shore Stations

    South Shore Line

    "p"

    "l!

    Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

    Fishing

    Open Spaces

    Public Lakeshore Access

    Accessible Inaccessible

    Explored Opportunities

    48

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    communIty approach - gary West



    Majestic Casino breakwater


    GPTC bus at Majestic Casino


    Explored Opportunities

    Segment D

    Mileage

    0.62 (+1.18%)

    Property Size

    88.3 Acres

    The Majestic Star Casino owns the lakefront just west of the casino building. It is currently not possible to visit the beach, but it is a good candidate for public access. Also, the casino fronts the Buffington Harbor breakwater, which should be officially open for public access and fishing. A 2009 Barrier Assessment Report study of the area suggested moving the adjacent rail and utility lines, and estimates this would cost at least

    Segment E

    Mileage

    0.41 (+0.78%)

    Property Size

    129.01 Acres

    Segment E

    Mileage

    0.41 (+0.78%)

    Property Size

    129.01 Acres

    $130 million.



    Beach adjacent to Majestic Casino

    South Shore Line



    !! Bus Stops "p" Canoe/ Kayak Launches Public Lakeshore Acc

    Bus Routes Trails

    "2" South Shore Stations "!l Fishing Accessible


    !! Bus Stops "p" Canoe/ Kayak Launches Public Lakeshore Acc

    Bus Routes Trails

    "2" South Shore Stations "!l Fishing Accessible

    Open Spaces


    Inaccessible


    ess

    NIPSCO is in the process of decommissioning the Mitchell Generating Station site and decommissioning is expected to be completed in 2018. The site is surrounded by industrial land uses and has a $3.275 million Industrial Recovery Tax Credit approved for redevelopment. NIPSCO has been in preliminary discussions with stakeholders regarding future uses for the property which could include redevelopment, job creation, and investment in the City of Gary. There are no plans to include public access in the redevelopment, but possible future industrial uses could include amenities such as a dedicated space for anglers.


    449499

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    The

    The

    Marquette Action Plan


    Gary East Signage at at entrance of Marquette Park

    Overview

    The City of Gary supports improving access to east lakefront by encouraging transit oriented

    development, improving transit, pedestrian, bike, and road connections, implementing green infrastructure and sustainable development guidelines, and promoting current historic and cultural sites. The Miller neighborhood is currently implementing a variety of lakefront access infrastructure with strong neighborhood organizing around further improvements. A current TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district would provide funding to implement many of these recommendations.

    Access Matrix

    Current Conditions

    Recommendations

    Accessibility for People with Disabilities

    » Marquette Park contains an ADA accessible kayak launch and tactile paving.

    » Implement the Barrier-Free Beach plan.

    Bike and Pedestrian Access

    » The Miller neighborhood has sidewalks along major streets. Additionally, Miller Neighborhood Spotlight is installing 5 bike share stations within the neighborhood.

    » There are bike lanes on Oak Avenue and Marquette Drive.

    » Improve connectivity between Nature Preserves and other area assets by completing this portion of the Marquette Greenway.

    Boat/Paddle Access

    » There are kayak launches at Marquette Park and at Lake Street.

    » Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

    Fishing Access

    » Anglers can fish off the bridge in the Marquette Lagoon.

    » There is interest in building a fishing pier in this area, but

    this may be infeasible due to sand movement on the beach.

    Parking Access

    » Marquette Park has ample paid parking.

    » Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

    Planning Coordination

    » The city is currently coordinating with the South Shore Line on future station improvements.

    » Maintain good relationships and contact with planning partners.

    Tourism, Marketing, and Wayfinding Coordination

    » Miller has clear signs guiding visitors to the different attractions and the bike lanes are branded “Gary Green Link”.

    » Continue to promote the area’s amenities.

    Transit Access

    » The National Lakeshore and Marquette Park is accessible by bus, which connects to the South Shore Line.

    » Zagster bike share connects South Shore station to nearby amenities and the beach side parks.

    » GPTC buses include bike racks.

    » Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

    50

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    Current Conditions


    1. Zagster bike share connects the South Shore station with Marquette Park.

    2. A GPTC bus (Route 13) runs every hour past the entrance to Marquette Park.

    3. Paddlers with disabilities can use the ADA canoe and kayak launch on the Calumet Lagoon in Marquette Park.

    4. The Dune Buggy shuttle service brings people from the South Shore station to the Douglas Center, Lake Street Beach, and Marquette Park.

    5. Bike lanes begin on Grand Avenue north of Forest Avenue and run throughout Marquette Park. Zagster bike

!!


"2"

!!


"2"

Bus Stops Bus Routes

South Shore Stations

South Shore Line

Bus Stops Bus Routes

South Shore Stations

South Shore Line

"p"

"!l

"p"

"!l

Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

Fishing

Open Spaces

Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

Fishing

Open Spaces

share connects the South Shore station with Marquette Park.

Public Lakeshore Access

Accessible

Inaccessible

Public Lakeshore Access

Accessible

Inaccessible


51

image


The

The

Marquette Action Plan

Recommendations


  1. Finish Marquette Greenway.

  2. Build TOD next to Miller South Shore station.


    !!


    "2"

    Bus Stops Bus Routes

    South Shore Stations

    South Shore Line

    "p"

    "!l

    Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

    Fishing

    Open Spaces

    Public Lakeshore Access

    Accessible Inaccessible

    Explored Opportunities

    !!


    "2"

    Bus Stops Bus Routes

    South Shore Stations

    South Shore Line

    "p"

    "!l

    Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

    Fishing

    Open Spaces

    Public Lakeshore Access

    Accessible Inaccessible

    Explored Opportunities

    52

    image

    communIty approach - gary West


    Wayfinding signage at Marquette Park


    Bike lane in Marquette Park

    Beach facilities at Lake Street Beach



    Zagster bike share at Marquette Park



    !! Bus Stops "p" Canoe/ Kayak Launches Public Lakeshore Access

    Bus Routes Trails

    "2" South Shore Stations "!l Fishing Accessible South Shore Line Open Spaces Inaccessible


    !! Bus Stops "p" Canoe/ Kayak Launches Public Lakeshore Access

    Bus Routes Trails

    "2" South Shore Stations "!l Fishing Accessible South Shore Line Open Spaces Inaccessible

    Ramp at Marquette Park


    553533

    image


    The

    The

    Marquette Action Plan


    Portage and Ogden Dunes

    Overview

    Portage hopes to build upon the investments it has made in the last fifteen years. The implementation of

    the Portage Northside Master Plan, and its crown jewel, the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk, has added significant access to Lake Michigan. In the future, the city hopes to build on this success by implementing a transit system and improving its trails, particularly those that access the lake.

    Ogden Dunes boasts full access to the National Lakeshore’s beaches, but lacks amenities for non-resident park visitors.

    Access Matrix


    Beach pavilion at Portage Lakefront Park

    and Riverwalk

    Current Conditions

    Recommendations

    Accessibility for People with Disabilities

    » The Portage Lakefront has wide and flat paths connecting its

    parking lots with the visitor’s center and the lakefront. Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

    » Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

    Bike and Pedestrian Access

    » New trail improvements near Ameriplex Drive. US Army Corps of Engineers project on the Burns Ditch has created a gentler sloping bank and made pedestrian access easier.

    » Link the South Shore station and the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk with a well maintained multi-use sidewalk.

    » Build the Marquette Greenway and connect to lakefront trails.

    Boat/Paddle Access

    » Boats can be launched at the Portage Marina.

    » Canoes and kayaks can be launched from the southern portion of the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk.

    » Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

    Fishing Access

    » Fisherman can fish off the pier on the Portage Lakefront and

    Riverwalk as well at the Port of Indiana.

    » Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

    Parking Access

    » Parking is available at the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk.

    » Overflow parking is available at the new southern portion of

    the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk.

    » Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

    Planning Coordination

    » Unknown

    » Maintain good relationships and contact with planning partners.

    Tourism, Marketing, and Wayfinding Coordination

    » Portage is producing signage for the Portage Lakefront.

    » The Portage Lakefront is marketed on the City of Portage, Portage Parks, and the National Lakeshore Websites.

    » Signage could help guide bikers and pedestrians to the Portage and Ogden Dunes lakefront.

    Transit Access

    » The South Shore Line is a mile walk to the beach in Ogden Dunes.

    » Explore options to connect the South Shore station to the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk.

    54

    image

    Current Conditions


    1. Anglers can use the pier at the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk.

    2. Portage provides overflow parking at a new southern portion of the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk.

    3. The Portage Lakefront has wide and flat paths connecting its parking lots with the visitor’s center and the lakefront. There is also ramp access to the Riverwalk.

    4. US Army Corps of Engineers project on the Burns Ditch has created a gentler sloping bank and made pedestrian access easier.

      !!


      "2"

      !!


      "2"

      Bus Stops Bus Routes

      South Shore Stations

      South Shore Line

      Bus Stops Bus Routes

      South Shore Stations

      South Shore Line

      "p"

      "l!

      "p"

      "l!

      Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

      Fishing

      Open Spaces

      Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

      Fishing

      Open Spaces

      Public Lakeshore Access

      Accessible

      Inaccessible

      Public Lakeshore Access

      Accessible

      Inaccessible

    5. Trail improvements along Ameriplex Drive will connect to the Marquette Greenway.

    6. It is possible to fish from a designated spot of the Port of Indiana.


55

image


The

The

Marquette Action Plan

Recommendations


  1. Improve signage leading to the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk, and Ogden Dunes lakefront.

  2. Finish the Marquette Greenway


    Explored Opportunities

    1. Segment F


      !!


      "2"

      Bus Stops Bus Routes

      South Shore Stations

      South Shore Line

      "p"

      "l!

      Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

      Fishing

      Open Spaces

      Public Lakeshore Access

      Accessible Inaccessible

      Explored Opportunities

      !!


      "2"

      Bus Stops Bus Routes

      South Shore Stations

      South Shore Line

      "p"

      "l!

      Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

      Fishing

      Open Spaces

      Public Lakeshore Access

      Accessible Inaccessible

      Explored Opportunities

      56

      image

      communIty approach - portage and ogden dunes


      Beach closed due to sand erosion


      Electric vehicle charging stations

      Explored Opportunities

      Segment F

      Mileage

      0.91 (+1.72%)

      Property Size

      88.44 Acres

      US Steel Beach - The beach directly adjacent to the Portage Lakefront, owned by US Steel, currently appears underused. Its proximity to the popular Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk and its road access make it a good candidate to convert from an industrial use to a recreational use.


      Breakwater at Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk (NIRPC)




      ess


      ess

      Permeable pavement at Portage Lakefront and

      Riverwalk overflow parking lot



      !! Bus Stops "p" Canoe/ Kayak Launches Public Lakeshore Ac

      Bus Routes Trails

      "2" South Shore Stations "!l Fishing Accessible South Shore Line Open Spaces Inaccessible


      !! Bus Stops "p" Canoe/ Kayak Launches Public Lakeshore Ac

      Bus Routes Trails

      "2" South Shore Stations "!l Fishing Accessible South Shore Line Open Spaces Inaccessible

      Entrance to riverwalk at Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk


      c


      557577

      image


      The

      The

      Marquette Action Plan


      Burns Harbor and Dune Acres

      Overview

      Burns Harbor’s heavily industrialized lakeshore makes it difficult for its inhabitants to reach the lake. Incorporating more transportation access improvements, such as implementing the Marquette Greenway, would allow its residents to use the lakeshore in adjacent communities. On the other hand, Dune Acres’ location in the heart of the National Lakeshore provides clear access to Lake Michigan, but does not include the ameni- ties to cater to people from outside the community.

      Access Matrix

      Current Conditions

      Recommendations

      Accessibility for People with Disabilities

      » ADA accessible playground at Lakeland Park.

      » Continue factoring universal accessibility into planning and implementation of existing and new town infrastructure and redevelopment projects/programs.

      Bike and Pedestrian Access

      » Mineral Springs Road, the only connection to the lake, does not have separated walking facilities. There are no bike trails in Burns Harbor.

      » Secure funding for the construction of the Marquette Greenway trail and develop trail system in town that enhances neighborhood connectivity, including Lakeland Park.

      » Improve bike facilities in Dune Acres.

      Boat/Paddle Access

      » There are currently no launch facilities on the East Arm of the Little Calumet River.

      » Develop multi-modal connectivity to and recreational use of the East Arm of the Little Calumet River, and enhance public access and safety through a partnership approach to dam modernization.

      Fishing Access

      » There are fishing access points on the East Arm of the

      Little Calumet River.

      » Improve the accessibility to and safety of public fishing amenities.

      Parking Access

      » None

      » Develop multi-modal, transit-oriented parking infrastructure and sidewalks for improving recreational and community access.

      Planning Coordination

      » Town is currently coordinating Marquette Greenway trail development with the Town of Porter, City of Portage, and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in addition to neighboring food truck square programs.

      » Continue building partnerships for the planning and implementation of town infrastructure and redevelopment initiatives, such as a new town center, and expanding programs to improve the quality of life for residents, businesses, and visitors.

      Tourism, Marketing, and

      Wayfinding Coordination

      » Currently building partnerships and sense of place through Food Truck Square and Gateway Plaza development.

      » Implement wayfinding and marketing strategies detailed in the

      Master Development Plan.

      Transit Access

      » None

      » Leverage proximity to commuter rail system through multi- modal connectivity.

      58

      image

      Current Conditions


      1. The Calumet Trail, Cowles Bog Trail, and Brickyard Trail

connect to communities further south


!!


"2"

Bus Stops Bus Routes

South Shore Stations

South Shore Line

"p"

"l!

Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

Fishing

Open Spaces

Public Lakeshore Access

Accessible

Inaccessible

!!


"2"

Bus Stops Bus Routes

South Shore Stations

South Shore Line

"p"

"l!

Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

Fishing

Open Spaces

Public Lakeshore Access

Accessible

Inaccessible

59

image


The

The

Marquette Action Plan

Recommendations


  1. Open a kayak and canoe launch on the Calumet River East Branch

  2. Build the Marquette Greenway

  3. Improve bike facilities throughout Dune Acres


Explored Opportunities

  1. Segment G



    !!


    "2"

    Bus Stops Bus Routes

    South Shore Stations

    South Shore Line

    "p"

    "l!

    Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

    Fishing

    Open Spaces

    Public Lakeshore Access

    Accessible Inaccessible

    Explored Opportunities

    !!


    "2"

    Bus Stops Bus Routes

    South Shore Stations

    South Shore Line

    "p"

    "l!

    Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

    Fishing

    Open Spaces

    Public Lakeshore Access

    Accessible Inaccessible

    Explored Opportunities

    60

    image

    communIty approach - Burns harBor and dune acres


    Explored Opportunities

    Segment G

    Mileage

    0.31 (+0.59%)

    Property Size

    306.19 Acres


    Trail Bridge over US-12 near Dune Acres

    In 2016, NIPSCO announced plans to retire Units 7 & 8 at the Bailly Generating Station in 2018, a coal fired electric plant on the eastern edge of Burns Harbor. It is important to note that the retirement of Units 7 & 8 does not mean retirement of the entire facility. Electric transmission and existing natural gas-fired generation facilities will continue to be operated at the facility beyond 2018. While opportunities could exist in the future, there are no plans to incorporate public access at the moment.



    !! Bus Stops "p" Canoe/ Kayak Launches P

    Bus Routes Trails

    "2" South Shore Stations "!l Fishing


    !! Bus Stops "p" Canoe/ Kayak Launches P

    Bus Routes Trails

    "2" South Shore Stations "!l Fishing


    blic Lakeshore Access

    Accessible


    blic Lakeshore Access

    Accessible

    u


    Beach access in DunSeoAuctrhesShore Line Open Spaces

    Inaccessible

    Beach path in Dune Acres


    661611

    image


    The

    The

    Marquette Action Plan


    Indiana Dunes State Park, Town of Porter, and Chesterton

    Overview

    This area hopes to preserve its natural environment and enhance con-

    nections to and from the State Park by means of trail extensions, ac- cess to South Shore trains, especially via the new Bikes on Trains pro- gram. The State Park will continue to improve on visitor access and wayfinding systems.

    Access Matrix

    Trail map at the Indiana Dunes State Park

    Current Conditions

    Recommendations

    Accessibility for People with Disabilities

    » Sand wheelchair is available free of charge, as well as accessible points of interest in Indiana Dunes State Park for picnicking, trail recreation, and camping.

    » Acquire funding to continue implementing ADA accessibility already started during paving projects completed in 2016.

    Bike and Pedestrian Access

    » There is a separated trail along SR 49, connecting to the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center to the lake, however more connections are needed linking Downtown Chesterton to the lakefront.

    » Porter has limited trail access to its downtown, connecting to the lakefront.

    » Connect Dunes-Kankakee Trail to the National Lakeshore Office

    and the Orchard Trail along Lincoln Street.

    » Complete gap in Orchard Trail over 1-94 and extend trail to Dunes- Kankakee Trail.

    » Work with Burns Harbor to connect Marquette Greenway Trail to the Dunes-Kankakee Trail.

    Boat/Paddle Access

    » Paddlers can launch from the State Park.

    » Create canoe/kayak launch on Little Calumet in Porter.

    Fishing Access

    » Fishing is not allowed within the State Park.

    » Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

    Parking Access

    » Paid parking is available at the State Park.

    » Add parking at Porter beach through purchase and development of old Johnson Inn Property.

    Planning Coordination

    » Chesterton and Porter both develop their own comprehensive/master plans as well as other planning efforts for their communities.

    » Continue to support multimodal and trail access to the beach through the development of local planning efforts. Plans should be coordinated between the State Park, Chesterton, and the Town of Porter to encourage collaboration in their trail and other access- related goals.

    Tourism, Marketing, and Wayfinding Coordination

    » Indiana Dunes Tourism Bikes on Trains promotional study.

    » Update wayfinding to rename Brickyard Trail to Dunes-Kankakee

    Trail.

    Transit Access

    » Trail from the Dune Park South Shore station to the State Park.

    » Explore bike sharing between the South Shore station and the State Park.


    62

    image

    Current Conditions


    1. A separated trail allows people to bike and walk from the South Shore station to the State Park Beach

    2. Fishing is not allowed in the State Park with a proper license



!!


"2"

Bus Stops Bus Routes

South Shore Stations

South Shore Line

"p"

"!l

Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

Fishing

Open Spaces

Public Lakeshore Access

Accessible

Inaccessible

!!


"2"

Bus Stops Bus Routes

South Shore Stations

South Shore Line

"p"

"!l

Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

Fishing

Open Spaces

Public Lakeshore Access

Accessible

Inaccessible

63

image


The

The

Marquette Action Plan

Recommendations


  1. Acquire Johnson Inn property to develop and add parking.

  2. Begin shuttle service between the Indiana Dunes Tourism/ Visitor Center and the State Park.

  3. Continue implementing ADA- features in downtown Porter.

  4. Direct Orchard Trail to the

    National Lakeshore office.

  5. Explore bike sharing between the South Shore station and the State Park.


    !!


    "2"

    Bus Stops Bus Routes

    South Shore Stations

    South Shore Line

    "p"

    "!l

    Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

    Fishing

    Open Spaces

    Public Lakeshore Access

    Accessible Inaccessible

    Explored Opportunities

    !!


    "2"

    Bus Stops Bus Routes

    South Shore Stations

    South Shore Line

    "p"

    "!l

    Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

    Fishing

    Open Spaces

    Public Lakeshore Access

    Accessible Inaccessible

    Explored Opportunities

    64

    image

    communIty approach - IndIana dunes state park, toWn of porter, and chesterton



    Indiana Dunes Tourism Beach Amenities Map



    Lakeshore Access

    Accessible

    Inaccessible


    Lakeshore Access

    Accessible

    Inaccessible

    Trail leading to Indiana Dunes State Park



    !! Bus Stops "p" Canoe/ Kayak Launches Publi

    Bus Routes Trails

    "2 "!l Fishing


    !! Bus Stops "p" Canoe/ Kayak Launches Publi

    Bus Routes Trails

    "2 "!l Fishing

    c


    Bike racks at"Dunes SPoarukthSoSuhthoSrheoSretasttiaotinosn

    South Shore Line Open Spaces

    665655

    image


    The

    The

    Marquette Action Plan


    Beverly Shores, Town of Pines, and National Lakeshore East

    Signage at Lake View Beach

    Overview

    Continue to enhance streetscaping, green infrastruc- ture, and non-motorized activity along US 12, in addi- tion to developing natural resource and conservation strategies, expanding trail connections, upgrading in- frastructure, and preserving dunes and natural areas.


    Access Matrix

    Current Conditions

    Recommendations

    Accessibility for People with Disabilities

    » None

    » Add ADA accessibility features at the Kemil, Lake View,

    Central, and Beverly Shores Beaches.

    Bike and Pedestrian Access

    » There are designated bike routes on Lake Front Drive, Broadway, and Beverly Drive.

    » Add bike storage facilities/racks at beaches.

    Boat/Paddle Access

    » Paddlers can launch from Kemil Beach and Lake View Beach.

    » Continue the maintenance and improvement of facilities.

    Fishing Access

    » None

    » Not Applicable

    Parking Access

    » Limited parking at Kemil, Dunbar, Lake View and Central .

    » Beaches locations.

    » Explore remote parking options at area brownfield sites.

    Planning Coordination

    » Unknown

    » Improve planning coordination between the three entities.

    Tourism, Marketing, and Wayfinding Coordination

    » Unknown

    » Improve wayfinding to Beverly Shores and Indiana Dunes

    National Lakeshore beaches.

    Transit Access

    » South Shore station in Beverly Shores.

    » Encourage bike share between South Shore station and the beach.


    66

    image

    Current Conditions


    1. Central Avenue Beach is closed due to beach erosion.

    2. Sidewalks line Broadway and make it possible to walk from the South Shore station to the beach.



!!


"2"

Bus Stops Bus Routes

South Shore Stations

South Shore Line

"p"

"!l

Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

Fishing

Open Spaces

Public Lakeshore Access

Accessible

Inaccessible

!!


"2"

Bus Stops Bus Routes

South Shore Stations

South Shore Line

"p"

"!l

Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

Fishing

Open Spaces

Public Lakeshore Access

Accessible

Inaccessible

67

image


The

The

Marquette Action Plan

Recommendations


  1. Improve bike infrastructure around the area, and specifically add bike racks alongside the lakefront.

  2. Open Central Beach after sand returns and implement the Lakeshore Shoreline Stabilization plan.

  3. Build overflow parking lots on top of old brownfield sites, like the Illiana Block site or the Yard 520 location.


    !!


    "2"

    Bus Stops Bus Routes

    South Shore Stations

    South Shore Line

    "p"

    "!l

    Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

    Fishing

    Open Spaces

    Public Lakeshore Access

    Accessible Inaccessible

    Explored Opportunities

    !!


    "2"

    Bus Stops Bus Routes

    South Shore Stations

    South Shore Line

    "p"

    "!l

    Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails

    Fishing

    Open Spaces

    Public Lakeshore Access

    Accessible Inaccessible

    Explored Opportunities

    68

    image

    communIty approach - Beverly shores, toWn of pInes, and natIonal lakeshore east



    Bike route and pedestrian crossing sign


    National Lakeshore wayfinding signage




    ayak Launches Public Lakeshore Access

    Accessible


    ayak Launches Public Lakeshore Access

    Accessible

    Beach path



    !! Bus Stops "p" Canoe/

    Bus Routes Trails

    "2" South Shore Stations "!l Fishing


    !! Bus Stops "p" Canoe/

    Bus Routes Trails

    "2" South Shore Stations "!l Fishing

    K



    Beach pavilion


    South Shore Line

    Open Spaces Inaccessible


    Kayak and canoe storage


    669699

    image


    The

    The

    Marquette Action Plan


    Michigan City, Long Beach, and Michiana Shores

    Overview

    In December 2016, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the shore of Lake Michigan is owned by the state and held as a public trust for all Hoosiers, which opened up more than 4% of the shoreline to access. According to the Indiana Court of Appeals, Northwest Indiana property owners whose land borders Lake Michigan cannot restrict individuals from accessing the lake, fishing or walking on the beach, so long as visitors remain on ground that is usually covered by water.

    In December 2016, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the shore of Lake Michigan is owned by the state and held as a public trust for all Hoosiers, which opened up more than 4% of the shoreline to access. According to the Indiana Court of Appeals, Northwest Indiana property owners whose land borders Lake Michigan cannot restrict individuals from accessing the lake, fishing or walking on the beach, so long as visitors remain on ground that is usually covered by water.

    Michigan City focuses on creating “Indiana’s great lakefront destination community” by clustering year-round activities and sites for families that are easily accessible and navigable, with a healthy and beautiful environment that attracts private sector investment. The City hopes to encourage year-round tourism and activities for residents, enhance Washington Park with opportunities by rehabilitation of existing features, develop more magnet and secondary attractions, and simplify connections and wayfinding.


    Long Beach and Michiana Shores hope to preserve public access and conservation of the shoreline with specific locations for open space and parks.


    Fishing amenities along Trail Creek


    Wayfinding signage

    Boat launch


    70

    image

    communIty approach - mIchIgan cIty, long Beach, and mIchIana shores


    Access Matrix


    Current Conditions

    Recommendations

    Accessibility for People with Disabilities

    » Improvements are currently underway.

    » Washington Park has removable beach pads near the senior center.

    » Hansen Park has an accessible kayak and canoe launch to Trail Creek.

    » Explore possibility of ramp to lighthouse catwalk.

    » Continue the maintenance and improvements of planned and existing facilities.

    Bike and Pedestrian Access

    » Designated bike lanes in downtown Michigan City, but no designated routes into the park.

    » Provide bike storage facilities along Lake Shore Drive.

    » Encourage bike share program.

    » Implement recommendations from Washington Park Master Plan.

    » Connect Washington Park to the Singing Sands Trail.

    » Implement boardwalk paths to beach at Fedder’s Alley.

    Boat/Paddle Access

    » There are launch locations along Trail Creek; and at the Washington Park Marina, the Trail Creek Marina, the Sprague Pointe Marina, Hansen Park (ADA accessible), and Winding Creek Cove Park.

    » Build planned kayak launch at Winding Creek Cove Park, 8th & Dickson Streets.

    » Encourage boat launch at Washington Park to include small craft and ADA accessibility.

    » Explore improvements that cater to transient boaters.

    » Determine feasibility of boat launch from NIPSCO facility.

    Fishing Access

    » Public access fishing can be found by the

    lighthouse and on sites along Trail Creek.

    » Continue the maintenance and improvement of the existing facilities.

    Parking Access

    » Paid parking available at Washington Park and California Avenue parking lot.

    » Continue the maintenance and improvement of the existing facilities.

    Planning Coordination

    » The city coordinates with the Port Authority, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, NIPSCO and the Army Corps of Engineers.

    » Maintain good relationships and contact with planning partners.

    Tourism, Marketing, and Wayfinding Coordination

    » New branding “Create, Play, Repeat.” and has hired a Marketing/Events Director for the City to promote Michigan City and the new brand.

    » Improve wayfinding for pedestrians and bicyclists, especially between the

    South Shore station and Washington Park.

    » Continue to maintain true to the city’s branding.

    Transit Access

    » Michigan City Transit (Wave).

    » Implement the planned South Shore Double-Tracking project to increase speeds to Michigan City’s South Shore station.

    » Encourage bike sharing between the station, Washington Park, and other amenities.


    71

    image


    The

    The

    Marquette Action Plan

    CurrentConditions

    1. Mt. Baldy trail is open with caution. The beach is open but the dune is closed for public safety & dune protection.

    2. Washington Park can be reached from downtown Michigan City via sidewalks and bike lanes.

    3. Realigned Franklin Street includes bike lanes.

    4. Movable beach path near the Senior Center in Washington Park.

    5. A bus (Route 1) operates every hour within Washington Park along Lake Shore Drive.

    6. Ecological restoration at Bismarck Hill.

    7. ADA accessible kayak and canoe launch at Hansen Park along Trail Creek.

    8. The state’s Court of Appeals has ruled that lakeshore past the ordinary high water mark is publicly accessible.


72

toWn name


737373

image

toWn name


737373


!! Bus Stops Bus Routes


"p"


Canoe/ Kayak Launches Trails


Public Lakeshore Access

Accessible

Recommendations

  1. Negotiate with Michigan City, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and NIPSCO

    to open up an entrance to Crescent Dune.

  2. Explore possibility of ramp to lighthouse walk.

  3. Encourage boat launch at Washington Park to include small crafts and ADA accessibility.

  4. Improve bike infrastructure at Washington Park.

  5. Encourage bikeshare between the South Shore station, Washington Park, and other amenities.

  6. Connect Washington Park to Singing Sands Trail.

  7. Implement boardwalk paths to beach at Fedder’s Alley.

  8. Build the Singing Sands Trail, a leg on the Marquette Greenway.

  9. Improve wayfinding and bike

    "2"

    South Shore Stations South Shore Line

    "!l Fishing

    Open Spaces


    Inaccessible

    infrastructure in Long Beach

    to encourage non-motorized access.

    73


    he T

    image


    he T


    The

    The

    Marquette Action Plan

    Finance and Maintenance

    Implementing the proposed recommendations will take perseverance, time, and funding. The staggering amount of improvements that have been finished in the last 10 years shows the commitment of lakeside communities and advocacy organizations to create and promote access. However, resources are not infinite, and money is needed to make these recommendations possible. New opportunities like the recently-signed Indiana law supporting Transit Development Districts along the South Shore Line, can be leveraged to encourage better access. The funding sources listed below in the first table are many of the available mechanisms for implementing the Marquette Action Plan. Since a variety of different funds can be used for each project, each recommendation is grouped by project type and listed next to all possible funding sources for that project type. The last two tables list funding sources for remediating and acquiring property.


    Whiting Lakefront Park


    Accessibility and Transportation Improvements

    Recommendations


    Timeline

    Continue to implement ADA access in infrastructure improvements in all communities.

    1 to 3 years

    Add bike storage facilities/racks at beaches in all communities.

    1 to 3 years

    Complete the Marquette Greenway in Hammond, East Chicago, Gary, Portage, Burns Harbor, and Michigan City.

    1 to 5 years

    Build the Marquette Greenway in Hammond around the old State Line Energy site to provide connection to nearby trails in Illinois.

    3 to 5 years

    Develop accessibility features in the west end of the bird sanctuary in Hammond.

    1 to 3 years

    Connect Calumet Avenue to Casino Center Drive and the adjacent path in Hammond by a safe pedestrian crossing.

    1 to 3 years

    Improve the trail connections between Whiting and Hammond.

    3 to 5 years

    Finish construction of Cline Avenue bridge in East Chicago.

    3 to 5 years

    Complete planned bike trails and bike lanes in the East Chicago Harbor neighborhood.

    3 to 5 years

    Build planned pedestrian bridge over Cline Avenue in East Chicago.

    1 to 3 years

    Build multi-use trail adjacent to Airport Road in Gary.

    1 to 3 years

    Complete Gary Green Link with needed accessibility features.

    3 to 5 years


    74

    image

    fInance and maIntenance


    Recommendations (continued)

    Timeline

    Work with DNR and Land Trusts on appropriate singage and access where appropriate.

    3 to 5 years

    Investigate alternatives to Clark Road in Gary.

    3 to 5 years

    Provide public parking, either adjacent to the nature preserves or by the lake in west Gary, to create opportunities for people to enjoy those assets.

    3 to 5 years

    Implement the Miller Beach Barrier-Free Beach plan in Gary.

    1 to 3 years

    Add bike and pedestrian infrastructure in Gary along Lake Street, Grand Avenue, and US 20.

    1 to 3 years

    Build a well maintained multi-use sidewalk at the Portage/ Ogden Dunes South Shore station and connected to lakefront trails.

    3 to 5 years

    Improve bike facilities throughout Dune Acres and Burns Harbor.

    3 to 5 years

    Develop multi-modal, transit-oriented parking infrastructure and sidewalks for improving recreational and community access in

    Burns Harbor.

    1 to 3 years

    Develop multi-modal connectivity to and recreational use of the Little Calumet River East Branch in Burns Harbor and the Town of Porter.

    3 to 5 years

    Connect the Dunes-Kankakee Trail to the National Lakeshore office and the Orchard Trail along Lincoln Street in Porter.

    3 to 5 years

    Complete gap in the Orchard Trail over I-94 and extent the trail to the Dunes-Kankakee Trail in Porter.

    3 to 5 years

    Add parking at Porter Beach through purchase and development of old Johnson Inn Property.

    3 to 5 years

    Improve bike infrastructure in Beverly Shores and the Town of Pines, and specifically add bike racks alongside the lakefront.

    1 to 3 years

    Encourage bike share between the South Shore station in Beverly Shores and the beach.

    1 to 3 years

    Explore remote parking options for Kemil, Dunbar, Lake View, and Central Beaches in the Town of Pines.

    3 to 5 years

    Encourage bike sharing between the Michigan City South Shore station,Washington Park, and other amenities.

    1 to 3 years

    Provide in Michigan City bike storage facilities along Lake Shore Drive.

    1 to 3 years

    Implement bike and pedestrian recommendations from the Washington Park Master Plan in Michigan City.

    3 to 5 years

    Implement boardwalk paths to beach at Fedder’s Alley in Michigan City.

    1 to 3 years

    Connect Washington Park to the Singing Sands Trail in Michigan City.

    3 to 5 years

    Explore possibility of ramp to the Michigan City lighthouse catwalk.

    3 to 5 years

    Improve wayfinding and bike infrastructure in Long Beach to encourage non-motorized access.

    1 to 3 years


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    Accessibility and Transportation Improvements (continued)

    Accessibility and Transportation Improvements (continued)

    Funding Sources and Partners



Recreation and Tourism


Recommendations

Timeline

Build paddling-supportive infrastructure in East Chicago along the southern portion of the Indiana Harbor Ship Canal and the Grand Calumet River.

3 to 5 years

Negotiate with Majestic Star Casino to open breakwater to fishermen in west Gary.

1 to 3 years

If Buffington Harbor in west Gary is redeveloped, provide fishing and boat launch access, if feasible.

3 to 5 years

Improve the accessibility to and safety of public fishing amenities in Dune Acres.

1 to 3 years

Create canoe/kayak launch on Little Calumet in the Town of Porter.

1 to 3 years

Open Central Beach after sand returns and implement the Lakeshore Shoreline Stabilization Plan in Beverly Shores.

3 to 5 years

Explore improvements in Michigan City that cater to transient boaters.

1 to 3 years

Determine feasibility of boat launch from Michigan City NIPSCO facility.

1 to 3 years

Encourage boat launch at Washington Park to include small craft and ADA accessibility in Michigan City.

1 to 3 years

Build planned kayak launch at Winding Creek Cove Park in Michigan City.

1 to 3 years


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Funding Sources and Partners

fInance and maIntenance



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Segments B and C in Whiting


Explored Opportunities


Segment

Property Size

Length of Shoreline

Percent of Shoreline

Ease of Acquisition

Impact of Acquisition

A

78 Acres

0.89 Miles

1.68%

High

High

B

6 Acres

0.22 Miles

0.42%

Low

Medium

C

101 Acres

0.48 Miles

0.91%

Low

Low

D

88 Acres

0.62 Miles

1.18%

Medium

High

E

129.Acres

0.41 Miles

0.76%

Low

Medium

F

88 Acres

0.91 Miles

1.72%

Medium

High

G

306 Acres

0.31 Miles

0.59%

Low

Low

Total Estimated Costs


Total Length of Shoreline

Estimated Total Assessed Value for Properties (2017)

Estimated Total Market Value

Estimated Total Tax Liability (2017)

Estimated Total Clean-Up Costs

3.86 Miles

$40,382,900

$54,055,095 - $66,067,338

$1,042,622

$85,168,297 - $272,000,000


Segment D in Gary


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Acknowledgements

The plan was enriched by the participation of the following entities.


Communities Hammond Whiting

East Chicago Gary Portage

Ogden Dunes Burns Harbor Beverly Shores Michigan City


Front Cover Photos


Organizations and Committees

Causes for Change

Gary Public Transit Corporation Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Indiana Landmarks

Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Program LaPorte County Visitors Bureau NIPSCO

Northwest Indiana Forum Environmental Committee Northwestern Indiana Paddling Association Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority Save the Dunes

South Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau

Urban Waters Federal Partnership


Back Cover Photos



Beverly Shores


IDNL ADA


Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk


Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk

Beach Ramp


All photos were taken by NIRPC staff.

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