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.