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> South Shore Commuter, Traveling through our City
Leigh Coburn
post Jun 13 2012, 09:01 AM
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I'm part of a group that's been meeting weekly for the past several years opposing the expansion of the 11th street South Shore route proposed by NICTD. We obtained over 1000 signatures from citizen agreeing with our position, and gave power point presentations to the Mayor, Council, and any Civic organization that would listen. We were very pleased when the NICTD Board of Directors took this option off the table at their last meeting and are considering the 5 possibilities proposed for the North End Route as well as the CSX Route which is also referred to as the South Route (just South of Al's on Franklin Street)
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To a person we were vehemently against the 11th street proposal and favor the North End. Within our group we have disagreement as to what North End proposal to back, but I'm sure whichever is chosen will get our blessing. We met with City Councilman Richard Murphy Tuesday in order to convey our pleasure and encourage him to seriously consider our recommendation to invite the NICTD Board to a meeting in Michigan City that will include a tour of the various options. It seems as if the NICTD Board and the operations personnel prefer the CSX Route and we need to insure they understand the positive economic impact that any of the Northern Routes would make in our City. Since many of the Board members live far outside our fair City there's a very good possibility they can't get a feel for the options by looking at engineering drawings. This tour will help them understand the potential of a great increase in ridership with the growth of Michigan City.
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mcstumper
post Jun 13 2012, 06:52 PM
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I think I side with the Board then. I have yet to hear anyone make a compelling case as to why a north end route would provide a greater positive economic impact on the city than the CSX route. My assumptions are as follows:
1. A station on the CSX route would be much more geographically convenient for a larger number of potential riders.
2. The South Shore is, and most likely always will be, a line that provides commuters in Northern Indiana with transit to the Loop in Chicago. It will never be used in any significant way by Chicagoans looking to vacation or day-trip in Indiana. The stations in Chicago are located both in the poorer Southside neighborhoods and in the far east part of the Loop which has a very small residential population.
3. The only way to make a North End route comparable to the CSX route from a cost perspective is to route it under the US 12 bridge close to the current Bridges restaurant and smack through the middle of Wescott Park and the current Blocksom property, all but rendering this property worthless for redevelopment. All of those grand plans for a riverwalk would have to be scrapped.
4. If the North End route doesn't follow this path under the U.S. 12 bridge, it means building some massive elevated structure over Trail Creek, ripping a massive ugly scar across our City's most valuable real estate. All this and a cost 2-3x's as much as the CSX route. In a political environment focused on austerity, does anyone think this will (or should) pass the ROI smell test?
5. Even if a grade level route is selected for the North End route, the overhead wires introduce more ugliness to the area.
6. A station on the North End would inevitably include a massive new parking lot. Valuable real estate paved over and striped.
7. Having ridden the South Shore a time or two, I can't say that I have seen one ounce of "development" close to the other South Shore stations. The way people talk, you would expect to see condominiums full of yuppies looking to walk to the train and head off to their good paying jobs in the city, or restaurants and other retail crowding the stations looking to draw in business from the riders. If any of this exists... I have missed it.

Just my two cents.

Oh, and welcome to the forum. Nice to have you here.


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MCRogers1974
post Jun 13 2012, 07:39 PM
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QUOTE(mcstumper @ Jun 13 2012, 07:52 PM) *

I think I side with the Board then. I have yet to hear anyone make a compelling case as to why a north end route would provide a greater positive economic impact on the city than the CSX route. My assumptions are as follows:
1. A station on the CSX route would be much more geographically convenient for a larger number of potential riders.
2. The South Shore is, and most likely always will be, a line that provides commuters in Northern Indiana with transit to the Loop in Chicago. It will never be used in any significant way by Chicagoans looking to vacation or day-trip in Indiana. The stations in Chicago are located both in the poorer Southside neighborhoods and in the far east part of the Loop which has a very small residential population.
3. The only way to make a North End route comparable to the CSX route from a cost perspective is to route it under the US 12 bridge close to the current Bridges restaurant and smack through the middle of Wescott Park and the current Blocksom property, all but rendering this property worthless for redevelopment. All of those grand plans for a riverwalk would have to be scrapped.
4. If the North End route doesn't follow this path under the U.S. 12 bridge, it means building some massive elevated structure over Trail Creek, ripping a massive ugly scar across our City's most valuable real estate. All this and a cost 2-3x's as much as the CSX route. In a political environment focused on austerity, does anyone think this will (or should) pass the ROI smell test?
5. Even if a grade level route is selected for the North End route, the overhead wires introduce more ugliness to the area.
6. A station on the North End would inevitably include a massive new parking lot. Valuable real estate paved over and striped.
7. Having ridden the South Shore a time or two, I can't say that I have seen one ounce of "development" close to the other South Shore stations. The way people talk, you would expect to see condominiums full of yuppies looking to walk to the train and head off to their good paying jobs in the city, or restaurants and other retail crowding the stations looking to draw in business from the riders. If any of this exists... I have missed it.

Just my two cents.

Oh, and welcome to the forum. Nice to have you here.


I rode the South Shore for years to my job in the loop. I watched the new train stations go up at both Hammond and at East Chicago. I have seen some development go in around both of these stations but I cannot verify the development was the result of the new stations.
A northern route in MC might bring new development to the area but I would question the workability of any northern route. A train cannot climb a high grade in a short distance. So any bridge over Trail Creek would probably need an approach to the bridge of about a mile. This would, of course, need to be in both directions. I am not certain we have that sort of land available.
I am certainly no expert on the topic but that is my opinion.
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Southsider2k12
post Jun 15 2012, 08:03 AM
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My biggest concern about a northern route is also the bridge it will take to span Trail Creek. I don't think I have yet to hear this concern adequately addressed. Because of the grade necessary to move freight across Trail Creek, we are talking about a mile and a half long bridge. I don't think that is what we want there.
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