6100 Southport Road Portage, Indiana



Technical Planning Committee

Tuesday, July 13, 2021, 10:00 A.M.

Zoom Info Meeting ID: 953 7873 8267 Passcode: 061921

Dial In: (312) 626 6799


  1. Call to Order by Chairman

    1. Pledge of Allegiance

    2. Minutes of the April 6, 2021, meeting (pp. 1 - 2)


  2. Public Comment on Agenda Items

    This is an opportunity for comments from members of the audience. The amount of time available to speak will be limited to 3 minutes. Commenters must indicate their wish to comment on the sign in sheet.

  3. Planning

    1. Marquette Greenway RAISE grant application overview.


  4. Programming

    1. Public Comment Report for Amendment #1 to FY 2022-2026 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). (p. 3)

    2. Resolution 21-14: FY 2022-2026 TIP Amendment #1. Click HERE to view.


    3. Emergency Transit Amendment #15 to 2020-2024 TIP (GPTC) Click HERE to view.


  5. Topical Committee Reports

    Various committees are invited to report out on their meetings.

    1. Environmental Management Policy Committee (EMPC)

    2. Ped, Pedal & Paddle Committee (3PC)

    3. Land Use Committee (LUC)

    4. Surface Transportation Committee (STC)

    5. Transportation Resources & Oversight Committee (TROC)

  6. Reports from Planning Partners

    1. Southshore Clean Cities

  7. Other Business, Staff Announcements and Upcoming Meeting

    1. Finance and Personnel Committee – July 15 @ 8:00 a.m.

    2. NIRPC Full Commission Meeting – July 15 @ 9:00 a.m.

    3. TROC Lake and Porter Meeting – July 27 @ 9:00 am

    4. TROC La Porte Meeting – July 27 @1:00 pm

    5. STC Meeting – August 3 @ 9:00 a.m.

    6. LUC Meeting – August 5 @ 10:00 a.m.

  8. Next Meeting

The next Technical Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 10, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. in the NIRPC offices.

Technical Planning Committee Tuesday, April 6, 2021 Minutes

This meeting was convened as an electronic meeting, pursuant to Governor Holcomb’s Executive Order 21-05 on February 25, 2021 extending the declaration of emergency, allowing such meetings pursuant to IC 5-14- 1.5-3.6 for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. All persons were meeting remotely on a Zoom platform that allowed for real time interaction and supported the public’s ability to observe and record the proceedings. When the agenda item provided for public comment, this was supported as well.

Kevin Breitzke called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Committee members present were Kevin Breitzke (Porter County), George Topoll (Union Township), Dean Button (Hammond), Mark O’Dell (Chesterton), David Wright (GPTC), Blossom Mabon, Beth West, Mike Jabo (Valparaiso), Beth Shrader (Valparaiso), and Kelly Wenger (NICTD).

Staff present were Mitch Barloga, Meredith Stilwell, Lucas Ecklund-Baker, Allen Hammond, Eman Ibrahim, Kathy Luther, Scott Weber, Kevin Polette, Candice Eklund, Charles Bradsky, Peter Kimball, and Flor Baum.

Others present were Tim Hollandsworth (INDOT), John Kennedy, Lauri Keagle (SSCC), Bryan Blazak (St. John), Jeff Huet (Schererville), Tom Schmitt (Schererville), Steve King (Merrillville), Don Oliphant (CBBEL), Timothy Werner (CIORBA), Nick Bellar (Winfield), Duane Alverson (Lake County), and Eric Wolverton.

The March 9, 2021 meeting minutes were approved on motion by George Topoll and second by Dean Button. Public Comments

No public comments to announce.


Scott Weber presented on an update for the second amendment and conformity analysis to the NWI 2050 Plan, including the launch of the public comment period. NWI 2050 is our Region’s long-range plan that was adopted in May 2019. The amendment is needed to fulfill federal requirements because of the latest NOFA that adds regionally significant projects. The four projects being affected by amendment 2 are as follows:

These changes will be released for public comment today and through April 8 for a 30-day period.

Scott also presented on Air Quality Conformity. This is required because NIRPC is a non-attainment area designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for ozone. The four projects mentioned are among

others that are in the document. The Conformity Report document will also be circulated for public comment from March 9 through April 8.


Charles Bradsky presented on the recommendation for Group 1 transit projects in the 2022-2026 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). A three percent annual increase in funding was proposed that is compounded annually. This gave us nearly $2M in 2025 and $2.5M in 2026. 2026 is not something that Federal Transit looks at, as their focus is on the four-year TIP. Only the year 2025 was balanced (2026 was not balanced). It was agreed on at the Transit Operators meeting that we would look at all received operating assistance and preventative maintenance in 2021 and start programming those numbers. In some cases, preventative maintenance was less in 2025 than in 2021. Also, in balancing the budget for 2025, the lesser amount was chosen. What is being proposed is just under

$1.5M over the $14.4M that we have planned for 2025. If Federal Highway opposes the budget, GPTC’s $2.26M budget for new busses will be adjusted. It would continue to be a line item in the TIP. There was discussion on the Volkswagen funding towards busses. David Wright (GPTC) clarified that the funding is going busses that are currently in order, and not for 2025. There was discussion on the three percent increase. Kathy Luther stated there is Highway money that can be moved over to the Transit side as another possibility. The $8 pilot operations and facility improvements line item is a potential CMAQ project. The $8 is a placeholder for a continued plan on implementation of the project that will start this year with Federal funding. However, the $8 line item will be moved to CMAQ. Beth Shrader (Valparaiso) stated that the assumption to choose the lesser amount to budget the Valpo bus lines is not ideal. By 2025 Valpo’s expectation is that all the 80/20 (CMAQ/Fed) funding for the lines that will have been in service for three years will have been depleted. This does not allow them to maintain service levels.

Charles advised that amendments can always be made starting in August. Another Transit Operators meeting will be held to explain the individual changes in the budget. Charles will also send the list of all transit projects to INDOT’s review. The TIP adoption will also be out for public comment starting today.

On motion by David Wright and second by George Topoll the Technical Planning Committee accepted the transit program of projects as presented to go to public comment beginning today.

Topical Committee Reports

Mitch Barloga reported on DNR Next Level Trails Program; Round Two Awardees. Three of the awards were given to northwest Indiana communities. There is $29.6M available and is combined with $21.9M of local match. This is all administered by the Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR). 18 projects were funded out of the 93 applications submitted. The longest awarded project is 14.5 mi; the shortest awarded is .88 mi. Three of these projects are within the NIRPC area: Crown Point’s Pennsy Greenway regional project, Portage’s Marquette Greenway regional project, and Valparaiso’s Vale Park West local project.

Eman Ibrahim reported on the Land Use Committee. The last committee meeting was held on January 7. There was discussion of roadway expansion and planning projects.

Scott Weber reported that the Surface Transportation Committee (STC) will meet in April instead of May to discuss final prerequisites for some of the projects that were agreed to.

Reports and Planning Partners

Announcements and upcoming dates were shared with the committee.

Next Meeting

The next Technical Planning Committee (TPC) meeting is slated for Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at the NIRPC offices.

The meeting concluded at 11:06 a.m.


Public Comment Report

Amendment #1 to the 2022-2026 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission

Technical Planning Committee July 13, 2021

Amendment #1 of the 2022-2026 Transportation Improvement Program was released for a 21-day public comment period which began on June 9, 2021 and will ended June 30, 2021. The amendments were made available at No comments from the public were received during the comment period on the proposed amendments.

NIRPC has not receive technical comments from the Interagency Consultation Group (ICG) as of this time.

Approval by members of IGC on this amendment has not yet been received.