The Official Report

The City of Michigan City has published the official report on their website – you can also read it here.


The link is a 6MB PDF document outlining the study process and how the decision to use the 10th/11th street alignment was made. The document includes drawings and diagrams of the proposed line, including detailed cross sections of the chosen track alignment as well as maps of all the proposed options.

Michigan City Council Approves 11th Street Alternative

Published September 18th in The News Dispatch:

Council supports corridor alternative

MICHIGAN CITY — In an 8-0 vote Tuesday, members of the Michigan City Common Council voted to support the Management Oversight Group central corridor alignment alternative for the South Shore. At-Large Councilman Tim Bietry was absent.

This resolution, which has been in the works for several years, supports the MOG assessment “that the central corridor (alternative) is the preferred NICTD realignment in Michigan City” further stating that it “has the least amount of negative impact to the city and its citizens and the maximum amount of positive impact for the city.”

The accepted design includes plans to transform 11th Street into a one-way, single-lane eastbound street. The South Shore Line will remain on the north side of the street, but would be rebuilt as a two-track section.

But lest one think it is all sunshine and roses:

Prior to the vote, City Council President Duane Parry amended the resolution by substitution. The amendment put forth a statement as part of the resolution stating that “throughout all further investigations, planning and all stages of design of the realignment project, the feasibility and advisability of at least preliminarily constructing a single track through all or most of Michigan City and an elevated boarding platform substantially less than 800 feet be considered.”

Stay tuned …

June 13th Public Workshop

Is the light at the end of the tunnel an oncoming train?

Published June 14th in The News Dispatch:

The Updated Central Corridor Option was presented to the council and city residents in a public workshop. If approved, the updated version of the Central Corridor Option will turn 11th Street into a one-way, single-lane eastbound street. The South Shore Line will remain on the north side of the street, but it will be rebuilt as a two-track section.

The cross streets that will remain open are Sheridan Avenue, Willard Avenue, Chicago Street/Kentucky Street, Ohio, Wabash Street, Washington Street, Franklin Street, Lafayette Street, Oak Street, Michigan Boulevard, Vail Street, School Street, Woodlawn Avenue, Pleasant Avenue and Carroll Avenue.

So are we done? Do we have a “shovel ready” plan for the future of the South Shore? Not quite.

Published June 18th in The News Dispatch:

Third Ward Councilman Ron Hamilton Jr. says that he will re-introduce a resolution to ban the new Central Corridor Option for the South Shore Realignment project.

At a City Council meeting in May, Hamilton introduced the resolution, which was eventually withdrawn because of a typographical error, that asked the City Council to ban a double-track rail in the 10th and 11th street corridor.

The saga continues …

February 7th Public Meeting

Published February 13th in The News Dispatch:

Residents’ favorite South Shore route nixed by NICTD in January
By Kelley Smith – Staff Writer

MICHIGAN CITY — The revised central corridor option deemed to be local residents’ favored route for the South Shore realignment after the public workshop held last Thursday may not be an option after all, according to officials at the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, who rejected it in a letter to Michigan City officials eight days before the public workshop occurred.

Sirota’s proposal offers to construct a single track and a 400-foot-high level platform with the possibility of eventually expanding to a double track and 800-foot platform. However, the NICTD statement said it is imperative that two tracks and an 800-foot platform be installed at the onset of the realignment.

Published February 15th in The News Dispatch.

Citizens participate in South Shore Line realignment options
By Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer and City Planner Craig Phillips

More than 130 citizens gathered for a workshop last Thursday on the South Shore realignment project and work they did! After remarks by Mayor Meer and City Planning Director Craig Phillips and a presentation by the City’s consultant, Stuart Sirota, of TND Planning Group, who presented several updated alignment concepts for consideration, citizens gathered in small groups at tables and discussed the pros and cons of each alignment alternative. The updated concepts were developed in order to explore ways to overcome the negative impacts associated with the earlier options presented in the formal TIGER II Realignment Study, while providing substantial benefits to both Michigan City and NICTD.

After an hour of deliberation, a spokesperson for each table presented the results to the full group. The overwhelming result by citizens was support for the revised central option, which keeps the South Shore Line on 10th and 11th Streets but provides a more incremental approach to improving South Shore Line operations without many of the negative impacts associated with the earlier proposal. While the northern option variant also was highly supported, it was felt that there are also numerous potential impacts which could impede revitalization of the North End. At the same time, the southern option variant was ruled out by a majority of the tables taking part in the discussion because most participants understood the importance of keeping the South Shore Line station in close proximity to Downtown in order to leverage redevelopment opportunities associated with Transit Oriented Development (TOD).

So two years later we’re back to 10th/11th St. But again, the proposal is changed to something less useful than the previous plan.

The Final Public Meeting

A brief update. On August 16th, 2012, the decision of the official study was presented to the public. A northern option (Option 6 below) was chosen. The city leaders seemed surprised and annoyed at the result and wanted to investigate the process.