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Old 03-26-2015, 07:20 PM
 
16 posts, read 28,677 times
Reputation: 18

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Merrillville Indiana was not built to last, it existed only to facilitate white flight from Gary, and now Crown Point is booming on white flight from Merrilville. Besides the wierd idealists on this forum, there is not really anyone who is die hard about Merrillvie and there is no hesitation for a white person from there to leave and move to Crown Point if given the means. It will eventually become worse than Hammond because at messy Hammond has some die hard white townies who have some hometown pride and won't leave. Eventually the blight will spread down to CP (it already has in the northern part in Merrilville schools) and the Grandkids of the people who moved from Gary to Merrillville and the kids of the people who moved to Crown Point from Merrillville will move somewhere else. Welcome to the Rust Belt.
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:27 PM
 
255 posts, read 409,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeBauerCLE View Post
Merrillville Indiana was not built to last, it existed only to facilitate white flight from Gary, and now Crown Point is booming on white flight from Merrilville. Besides the wierd idealists on this forum, there is not really anyone who is die hard about Merrillvie and there is no hesitation for a white person from there to leave and move to Crown Point if given the means. It will eventually become worse than Hammond because at messy Hammond has some die hard white townies who have some hometown pride and won't leave. Eventually the blight will spread down to CP (it already has in the northern part in Merrilville schools) and the Grandkids of the people who moved from Gary to Merrillville and the kids of the people who moved to Crown Point from Merrillville will move somewhere else. Welcome to the Rust Belt.
Then as I have said, why not just try to redevelop Merrillville in a more vibrant place with mixed use, new urbanism style sustainable development. Unless we all just want to add greenhouse gas/carbon emissions to the environment, then redevelopment of suburbs like Merrillville will be necessary. The problem in Northwest Indiana is not enough people want the best for the whole region, or they simply don't act to make the entire region better. Sprawl and racism have made the region worse. Let's try to make the older areas better, along with the newer ones without a ton more of car dependent suburban sprawl.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:25 PM
 
16 posts, read 28,677 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by valpofan11 View Post
Then as I have said, why not just try to redevelop Merrillville in a more vibrant place with mixed use, new urbanism style sustainable development. Unless we all just want to add greenhouse gas/carbon emissions to the environment, then redevelopment of suburbs like Merrillville will be necessary. The problem in Northwest Indiana is not enough people want the best for the whole region, or they simply don't act to make the entire region better. Sprawl and racism have made the region worse. Let's try to make the older areas better, along with the newer ones without a ton more of car dependent suburban sprawl.
What's wrong with "car dependent sprawl"?
Listen, I know a lot of new urbanist folks think all suburbs are evil and anyone who lives in them is a small minded bigot, but frankly there is definitely a niche for suburbia. Not everyone wants to live in an area with tons of foot traffic and high density housing. A lot of people (myself, a millennial included) want to live in low density, homogenous and quiet suburb with space.

NWI is too close to Chicago to be a draw for city inclined people. Northwest Indiana is there to fill the gap that the south burbs on the Illinois side of the border left when they went to crap. Decent, safe, suburban communities with good schools for working and middle class people, specifically those that work in the blue collar industrial areas on the south side, like the Ford Plant where I work in Hegewisch or the rail yards.

Don't try and make it more than it is, okay? I understand you value high density, busy, walkable, urban environments with "diversity" of the racial and economic variety, if so Chicago would be a good spot for you or Oak Park or the southern half of Evanston if you wanna stay in a more suburban community. The people who choose to live in NWI don't want that though, because if they did they would live in the city of the aforementioned suburbs.


Best thing that can be done is to annex the folks in the Merrillville school district and a CP address into Merrillville, and then significantly up police presence on the border and enforce more stringent regulations on rentals and apartments. Essentially the idea would be to cut our losses with Merrillville and instead put the focus on containing the blight and stopping it from spreading deep into crown point which will only cause more "car dependent sprawl" as you call it because people will move south to a new municipality.
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:13 PM
 
255 posts, read 409,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeBauerCLE View Post
What's wrong with "car dependent sprawl"?
Listen, I know a lot of new urbanist folks think all suburbs are evil and anyone who lives in them is a small minded bigot, but frankly there is definitely a niche for suburbia. Not everyone wants to live in an area with tons of foot traffic and high density housing. A lot of people (myself, a millennial included) want to live in low density, homogenous and quiet suburb with space.

NWI is too close to Chicago to be a draw for city inclined people. Northwest Indiana is there to fill the gap that the south burbs on the Illinois side of the border left when they went to crap. Decent, safe, suburban communities with good schools for working and middle class people, specifically those that work in the blue collar industrial areas on the south side, like the Ford Plant where I work in Hegewisch or the rail yards.

Don't try and make it more than it is, okay? I understand you value high density, busy, walkable, urban environments with "diversity" of the racial and economic variety, if so Chicago would be a good spot for you or Oak Park or the southern half of Evanston if you wanna stay in a more suburban community. The people who choose to live in NWI don't want that though, because if they did they would live in the city of the aforementioned suburbs.


Best thing that can be done is to annex the folks in the Merrillville school district and a CP address into Merrillville, and then significantly up police presence on the border and enforce more stringent regulations on rentals and apartments. Essentially the idea would be to cut our losses with Merrillville and instead put the focus on containing the blight and stopping it from spreading deep into crown point which will only cause more "car dependent sprawl" as you call it because people will move south to a new municipality.
The problem with car dependent sprawl is that it is unsustainable environmentally. Greenhouse gas emissions and major climate change. Pretty simple.Understand your perspective. How will Merrillville get rid of most blight and become a more thriving place in your opinion? The whole purpose of the thread was to gain honest opinions from others on how they think Merrillville can become better. Not every person, regardless of race, has a negative perception of Merrillville. That alone CAN hopefully make it better in the future.
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:35 PM
 
16 posts, read 28,677 times
Reputation: 18
You cannot just say you want to get rid of suburban sprawl because you don't think it's good. I'm guessing you didn't grow up in an urban environment so it'd alluring and exciting for you, I get that. However as someone who lived the 19 years of his life in an apartment building on the lake in Cleveland, I dislike living in high density settings. i enjoy space and privacy and a yard, I don't like an area with lots of foot traffic (besides things like people walking their dogs) and such. A lot of people agree with me.


Best thing for Mville is to knock down the apartments, stricter rental laws, more cops. However the cop thing won't happen because they don't have the revenue because renters are the majority and they don't pay property tax.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Valparaiso, IN
276 posts, read 439,162 times
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I will say - I'm really enjoying where this thread is going.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeBauerCLE View Post
Merrillville Indiana was not built to last, it existed only to facilitate white flight from Gary, and now Crown Point is booming on white flight from Merrilville. Besides the wierd idealists on this forum, there is not really anyone who is die hard about Merrillvie
I will agree with this sentiment and actually extend it even further saying that a lot of towns, I believe, never expected to become a 'true' suburb of Chicago that society has turned it into. You can't tell me that Crown Point ever had a "suburb of Chicago" in mind when they started off. I think a lot of the NWI infrastructure woes are proof that there really isn't a good set of braces to correct a leg problem. Sometimes you need to re-break a fracture and let it set again to heal it properly. Without that sort of treatment, some of us "idealists" you mentioned may be only dreamers of good growth. But at least we're dreaming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by valpofan11 View Post
Then as I have said, why not just try to redevelop Merrillville in a more vibrant place with mixed use, new urbanism style sustainable development. The problem in Northwest Indiana is not enough people want the best for the whole region, or they simply don't act to make the entire region better. Sprawl and racism have made the region worse. Let's try to make the older areas better, along with the newer ones without a ton more of car dependent suburban sprawl.
I really do think there's enough space for both low density, homogenous and quiet Suburbia that JakeBauerCLE strives for along with the Urban-Style Sustainable Development right next door. A lot of Suburbia likes that open space, small feel and I can attest to this moving down to Cedar Lake. However, I do like the convenience and more urban feel that my small town doesn't offer for shopping certain days without wanting to trek all the way to Chicago or the Western Suburbs. Call it Mini-Urban Renewal if you want to label it as something. Revitalizing of Merrillville into a "mini-urban environment" would be backed by me.

Like I mentioned before, Oakbrook has made a fantastic story for themselves in their development over the years. You don't see these same skyscrapers in Elmhurst even though it neighbors the town. You even see it maintaining the quaint downtown that may have been keeping people there even though O'hare is right next door as well. Why would Merrillville 'threaten' any neighboring town if you set it up as the corporate hub? No other towns want it, so no other towns would get that. Having a train stop in a neighboring town doesn't negatively effect your subdivision. If anything, it might actually gain value.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:39 PM
 
2,155 posts, read 5,464,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeBauerCLE View Post
Merrillville Indiana was not built to last, it existed only to facilitate white flight from Gary, and now Crown Point is booming on white flight from Merrilville. Besides the wierd idealists on this forum, there is not really anyone who is die hard about Merrillvie and there is no hesitation for a white person from there to leave and move to Crown Point if given the means. It will eventually become worse than Hammond because at messy Hammond has some die hard white townies who have some hometown pride and won't leave. Eventually the blight will spread down to CP (it already has in the northern part in Merrilville schools) and the Grandkids of the people who moved from Gary to Merrillville and the kids of the people who moved to Crown Point from Merrillville will move somewhere else. Welcome to the Rust Belt.
Well dang, no sugarcoating here lol! I do agree with what you said, primarily on the "pride" part...the sole purpose of Merrillville was to stop Gary from annexing the land and it was built to accommodate White Flight and then everything else came after...a more modern version of this in Winfield...I recently found out that Winfield was incorporated to prevent Merrillville from annexing that area. If Merrillville had annexed that area, it probably would not have seen as much growth as it has today despite still being in the CP school system because people would have "Merrillville" addresses.
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:41 AM
 
223 posts, read 305,911 times
Reputation: 267
Wouldn't it make more sense to bring large office complexes to downtown Gary? Think about it, the South Shore line, Gary Airport, the lakefront, Tollway, and already developed so no worries of sprawl. It will also give NWI it's own urban "city" and less dependent on Chicago. Sounds better than tearing up farmland south of Merrilville along I-65.
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:02 AM
 
Location: Humboldt Park, Chicago
2,686 posts, read 7,850,959 times
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Default Merriville and response to Jake

I agree that Merriville is heading in the wrong direction. It is too close to low income areas.

Jake,

While I agree with you on decline of Merriville, where does it stop? Will Crown Point and Areas like St Johns see declines in the next 20 to 30 years as white flight continues?

Elmhurst, Oakbrook, Oak Park and Evanston were brought up as areas that have done well. Except for a few pockets of Elmhurst, Oak Park and Evanston these areas are very affluent and not economically diverse.

Where I live in Oak Park, our zip code has average income of 150k, which prices out the riff raff. Average home is 600k. Nice parts of Evanston and Elmhurst are similar. Oakbrook is almost entirely affluent and shares schools with Hinsdale, one of the wealthiest suburbs in all of Chicago.

Lack of affluence is and will continue to be the biggest threat for NWI at allows the riff raff from Chicago and poor suburbs to move in. This will continue to be a drag on declining areas like Merriville.

Affordability is great as it allows more people to move in but if any area is really cheap this allows riff raff to come in and longtime residents get fed up and many leave for perceived greener pastures.
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:19 AM
 
2,155 posts, read 5,464,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humboldt1 View Post
I agree that Merriville is heading in the wrong direction. It is too close to low income areas.

Jake,

While I agree with you on decline of Merriville, where does it stop? Will Crown Point and Areas like St Johns see declines in the next 20 to 30 years as white flight continues?

Elmhurst, Oakbrook, Oak Park and Evanston were brought up as areas that have done well. Except for a few pockets of Elmhurst, Oak Park and Evanston these areas are very affluent and not economically diverse.

Where I live in Oak Park, our zip code has average income of 150k, which prices out the riff raff. Average home is 600k. Nice parts of Evanston and Elmhurst are similar. Oakbrook is almost entirely affluent and shares schools with Hinsdale, one of the wealthiest suburbs in all of Chicago.

Lack of affluence is and will continue to be the biggest threat for NWI at allows the riff raff from Chicago and poor suburbs to move in. This will continue to be a drag on declining areas like Merriville.

Affordability is great as it allows more people to move in but if any area is really cheap this allows riff raff to come in and longtime residents get fed up and many leave for perceived greener pastures.
I know you were asking Jake, but I will respond because this is a good question!

In my opinion, Crown Point and Saint John will be nice places for a long time...however, I believe that Crown Point is going to have to work much harder than Saint John to stay nice. Why?

1) Schools: Saint John is mostly in the Lake Central School Corporation and the southern third (south of 101st) is in Hanover Schools. LCSC is more highly regarded than Hanover but Hanover is still a decent school district which is getting better as more people and money are coming into that district. Crown Point north of 101st is in the Merrillville Community School Corporation and south of 101st is the Crown Point Community School Corporation. CPCSC has some higher rankings than LCSC but they are both great districts that are considered much better than MVCSC. In fact, all of the suburban school districts are considered better than MVCSC. The problem is that the northern end of Crown Point has been dragged down by having Merrillville schools and people are essentially fleeing from north of 101st to south of 101st but this still has a negative impact on CP because the name is still attached. I have heard people basically "disannex" the north end of town to Merrillville and try to pretend that it is separate from the rest of CP; the reality is that it is not separate and that as property values there continue to fall to Merrillville levels (as there will no longer be much of an advantage to living in North CP over Merrillville), this will create more problems even for the neighborhoods on the border.

Saint John does not really have this problem. To the west, it is bordered by Crete, IL. While maybe not the most desirable area, it still has nice homes and if the prices of the home don't price out too many folks, the taxes there sure do! To the north is Dyer and Schererville (which are in the LCSC district except for Dyer south of 101st which is in Hanover) and even north of that is Munster (which is consistently ranked as a top district in NWI with also the highest property values when compared to the same style of home in other towns and high average family income) as well as Highland (which is a solid town with average schools and not really any flight). Even north of that is South Hammond which as stated earlier, has a lot of loyal residents who are not going anywhere...south of Saint John, is unincorprated Lake County, Cedar Lake, and Lowell...and then east is unincorporated Lake County again as well as Crown Point.

Now compare to Crown Point...as soon as you go one town north to Merrillville you are already having issues...south you are fine, west you are fine, and east you are mostly okay...but the north is where the concern is and it is already affecting the north end of CP....will CP be a ghetto? I don't think so...but it will definitely not be as racially, economically, and socially homogenous as it appears to be now (south of 101st).
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