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Old 04-29-2014, 12:34 PM
 
19 posts, read 29,011 times
Reputation: 34

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My family and I are looking to relocate to NW Indiana but I'm having a hard time making a decision. My fiance works in Chicago and will commute there Monday - Friday. The only option I see is the South Shore Line.

My #1 importance is the length of commute (shorter the better), schools and crime. We have considered Portage Indiana but from what I heard there is no downtown section. So it sounds like a pretty small town if they dont even have a "downtown" area. I don't need tons of stores but a nice amount would be nice. I don't want to fee like we live in the country and very minimal options.

The other city we have considered is Valpo but then we would have to drive to the train station in Portage which I think I calculated to be about 15 to 25 minutes depending on what side of Valpo we lived + the train ride is about 1hr 15 minutes. So all together we would be looking at hour and a half to 1hr 45 minutes between the drive to Portage and the train commute. Not sure that would be realistic for us, that would be about 4 hours per day commuting.

The other city we are considering is Hammond Indiana much shorter commute I think I saw 45 minutes? However, I haven't found much information on the cost of living, how is the crime there (is it very high or average), is it a small town or does it have stores, is there a mall or skatepark? I ask because I have a teenager and also want to ensure there are things for him to do.

Other then those cities I have no idea what other cities would be close enough to the South Shore Line which would be no more then 1 hour or 1hr 15 min to commute into Chicago.

Could someone share your thoughts on those cities? Also if there are other cities I may have missed or any other commute options besides the South Shore Line.

I would consider driving my fiance to work everyday but I hard the traffic is crazy. Is there specific times where its worse? For example if I picked up my fiance at 2:30PM would traffic already be bad at that time?
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:30 PM
 
811 posts, read 2,337,277 times
Reputation: 644
Short responses to these three towns:

Hammond - above average crime, bad schools, definitely one of the quickest commutes from NWI to Chicago as it has expressway access and South Shore access in town

Portage - considerably longer commute than Hammond. Average-ish crime... less than Hammond but more than Valpo. Most locals would probably consider Portage a better place to live than Hammond, although it's not generally referred to as one of the most desirable towns in the area. Schools are about average, better than Hammond.

Valpo - the most desirable of the three communities by far. Very nice town, very good schools, a lot of nice stores and restaurants and a great downtown, below average crime. But it is very far from Chicago in my opinion. I can't recommend any type of commute, whether by car or train, from Valpo to Chicago on a daily basis. Just too far away in my opinion. Unless you are willing to pay somewhere in the $8-10 range per day in tolls to take the rollroad with far less traffic than 80/94. Then it MIGHT become an option, but still very far, long commute.

Try reading through these threads that all discuss commutes from Northwest Indiana to Chicago mentioning the towns above as well as other towns in the area:

//www.city-data.com/forum/north...t-indiana.html

//www.city-data.com/forum/north...ana-worth.html

//www.city-data.com/forum/north...a-suburbs.html

//www.city-data.com/forum/north...ana-worth.html

//www.city-data.com/forum/north...-illinois.html
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Pacific
39 posts, read 59,239 times
Reputation: 46
At one time or another I lived in all three. Hammond was a nice town 25 yrs ago, but thru the casino trade has fallen into disrepair. Portage was fine when I worked on the Burns Harbor rail lines and it was convenient. Valpo was a great place too, but a little too far out.

Consider East Chicago or Hegwisch instead. Closer to the city and more reasonable price wise. Crime is rampant everywhere you look.
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Old 04-29-2014, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Northwest Indiana
157 posts, read 403,149 times
Reputation: 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by captsam View Post
At one time or another I lived in all three. Hammond was a nice town 25 yrs ago, but thru the casino trade has fallen into disrepair. Portage was fine when I worked on the Burns Harbor rail lines and it was convenient. Valpo was a great place too, but a little too far out.

Consider East Chicago or Hegwisch instead. Closer to the city and more reasonable price wise. Crime is rampant everywhere you look.
That is terrible advice. East Chicago and Hegwisch are just as bad if not worse than Hammond in every category. Crime is not rampant everywhere. Munster, Highland, Griffith, Dyer, Schererville, St. John, Crown Point, Cedar Lake, Chesterton, Valpo, ect. all have below average crime rates. If you want to stay in Indiana and driving isn't an option you may want to focus on Chesterton or Porter due to their proximity to South Shore Stations, low crime, and good schools. If you are willing to drive to Chicago I would stick as close to 394 or 80/94 as possible. The best towns for that would be Munster, Highland, Griffith, Dyer, and St. John.
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Old 04-29-2014, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Hoosierville
17,401 posts, read 14,631,586 times
Reputation: 11605
Chesterton.

Good schools.

Right on the South Shore line and expressways.

Low crime.
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:20 PM
 
2,157 posts, read 5,491,199 times
Reputation: 1572
Just to add to what has been stated,

If you are focusing on areas with "walkable downtown/quaint charm", proximity to Chicago, good schools, and safety, my top choices would be Highland, Chesterton, and Crown Point.
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:25 PM
 
628 posts, read 2,044,707 times
Reputation: 524
My 2 cents would be St John, Dyer, or Schererville
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:15 PM
 
Location: The Region Yo
71 posts, read 227,875 times
Reputation: 96
1. Portage: No good. Nice enough town, but you are looking for a fell that just doesn't exist there.
2.Hammond: No good...unless you find a nice place around Purdue Calumet. Even then, Hammond is a crapulent hellhole.
3. Do not listen to the guy who advised you to look at E. Chicago or Hegewisch. That's just plain bad advice.
4. Valpo is not situated for a comfortable daily commute to Chicago. Period.
5. I would pick Munster or Highland. Plenty of ameneties and very close to the city for a reasonable easy commute. Munster has top rated schools.
6. Or...and this is going out on a limb...if you are a little adventurous, you could consider the east part of Miller. Miller is a part of Gary (yes, I know) but very close to a South Shore stop and awesome in the summer due to the beaches.
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