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Old 12-03-2017, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Taipei
7,773 posts, read 10,062,231 times
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Just wondering if there are any somewhat walkable neighborhoods that are also walking distance to the SSL? If so, are any of them desirable? We can include future stations that are part of the Westlake Corridor.

Thanks!
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Old 12-03-2017, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Schererville, IN
143 posts, read 214,738 times
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The area around the planned Ridge Road station in Munster is somewhat walkable, you can definitely walk the train station, and definitely a good area as well. Also the neighborhoods around the planned Hammond stations are decently walkable as well. Hammond isn't as desirable as Munster, but still has some decent, safe areas.
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Taipei
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Thanks!! But nothing is like a small downtown area then? Like you would find in northwest suburbs of Chicago?
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:55 AM
 
Location: Northwest Indiana
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Lake Street at the Miller Beach stop in Gary is a walkable "downtown". The downtown of Miller Beach neighborhood that is.
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Taipei
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Thanks! Is that a desirable area? Decent? or would you normally stay away?
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Old 12-04-2017, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Hammond
305 posts, read 563,365 times
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The most walkable of the current South Shore station neighborhoods I would say is the 11th street station in Michigan City, as far as being able to both live and shop within walking distance of the train. The small town feel that you are looking for. Michigan City has made some great strides lately in cleaning up it's image, decreasing crime, and getting businesses back downtown. It's a huge difference from even 10 years ago, but it still doesn't quite hold up to many of the NW Illinois suburbs. I would still recommend checking it out though. Commute time is a little over an hour and a half from the city. It the double tracking project receives Federal funding, these times will be improved.

Other stations that are somewhat walkable include Gary, Hammond, and Miller. Gary once had a great downtown that has been largely decimated and I'm sure doesn't meet what you are looking for. The area around the Hammond station is both walkable to residential neighborhoods and businesses. While this area is reasonably safe, it is definitely working class, the housing quality isn't that great, and several freight lines are right there. As others have noted, the Lake Street downtown in Miller Beach is easy walking distance to the Miller Station, but only a small portion of houses in Miller Beach are equally walkable. But again, I would struggle to compair Miller Beach to any of the NW Illinois suburbs. I would suggest you check it out and see what you think. I'm not as familiar with the real effects of crime in Miller, but I know the nearby areas of Gary are not so great.

Unfortunately, Valporaiso, which is most comparable to the small towns in Illinois that you are referring to is no where near a train station. The nearest station is a 25-30 minute drive away. The same goes fro Crown Point which has a quaint walkable downtown but is a 20 minute drive from the nearest station.

If the Westlake corridor comes to pass, two additional walkable areas will come within range of train stations: South Hammond and Munster, Ridge Road. Ridge road already has some walkable commercial developments and could definitely benefit from much more. There are also residential neighborhoods within walking distance of the proposed station that are walkable, safe, and with good school systems. South Hammond offers some great housing stock, reasonably safe and well policed neighborhoods, but there is no commercial development at the proposed station site, and the schools are not great.


It's interesting that we have had so many of these similar threads in the last few months. To me it really says that North West Indiana is really missing out from some really unfortunate city planning. Many people who work in downtown Chicago and currently live in either a Chicago neighborhood or one of the western suburbs with a downtown and a central train station are looking for the same thing if they were to move to Indiana. We could use some great improvement in that area, and it's one of the reasons that I too struggled to find a reasonable place to settle down in the area.
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:26 AM
 
Location: Taipei
7,773 posts, read 10,062,231 times
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Perfect breakdown Ned! Thanks so much for that. I don't believe I've ever set foot in NWI before (though I've traveled between Indy and Chicago a number of times) and that gives me a wonderful guide for what I'm seeking. I will plan to explore next time!!
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Hoosierville
16,837 posts, read 14,213,555 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned B View Post

Unfortunately, Valporaiso, which is most comparable to the small towns in Illinois that you are referring to is no where near a train station. The nearest station is a 25-30 minute drive away. The same goes fro Crown Point which has a quaint walkable downtown but is a 20 minute drive from the nearest station.
.

Valpo does have the Chicago Dash though ...


https://www.ci.valparaiso.in.us/489/ChicaGo-DASH
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Hoosierville
16,837 posts, read 14,213,555 times
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[quote=Ned B;50304193

It's interesting that we have had so many of these similar threads in the last few months. To me it really says that North West Indiana is really missing out from some really unfortunate city planning. Many people who work in downtown Chicago and currently live in either a Chicago neighborhood or one of the western suburbs with a downtown and a central train station are looking for the same thing if they were to move to Indiana. We could use some great improvement in that area, and it's one of the reasons that I too struggled to find a reasonable place to settle down in the area.[/QUOTE]




Valpo did have a commuter train run by Amtrak up until 1990. So there's that.
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Old 12-19-2017, 01:07 AM
 
Location: Land of Ill Noise
3,377 posts, read 3,299,848 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckity View Post
Valpo did have a commuter train run by Amtrak up until 1990. So there's that.
I recall reading about that somewhere. Too bad that commuter train was discontinued, I wonder why? I would suspect probably due to Amtrak service cuts, but who knows?

As for areas near the SSL, yeah I'd agree that Miller and Michigan City-11th Street are your best bets for being walkable and having things to do that are on the Indiana side. I'm a huge fan of 18th Street Brewery near the Miller station, and I can't help but admit that I find their original location in Miller/Gary to be more charming to me than their newer location in Hammond. Though I understand why they built a location in Hammond, so that they could increase their annual beer bottling and canning production to stores. I do also like the areas by Ogden Dunes and *Beverly Shores, though you'd have to drive to get to(heck virtually all, very little is close to Beverly Shores' train station except a few shops and Bartlett's Gourmet Grill) stores and shops.

Back to Michigan City-11th Street, there is a plan to end street running of trains one of these future years, and to build a brand new high platform there that'd be accessible to wheelchairs and bikes. Hopefully that happens someday, as much as the street running of South Shore trains I can't deny is fun for photography reasons. I like the strides and the direction that Mich City is trying to do, with its downtown area. Still though, I found it a poor decision for them to tear down the former Woolworth building, that was just north of the (ex-hotel, I believe) building that was renovated into the Artspace lofts. Wish some building renovation could've occurred, with that ex-Woolworth building. And I've heard rumors that Michigan City-Carroll Ave. might be discontinued as a stop, but I'm not sure if that'd be a good idea, due to all the commuters who do drive into there to catch the train. Plus whatever they do with the 11th/Franklin station, that station probably will never have as much available parking as Carroll does.

Hegewisch also is walkable and isn't bad IMO, but I wouldn't be surprised if the OP was more looking on the Indiana side due to lower taxes.

*- Flag stop on the South Shore. You have to notify one of the train conductors/employees you want to get off here, or the train won't stop. Also be sure to press the strobe light button(on the east end of that particular platform, I took the SSL train there once) at least 5 minutes before the scheduled train time, so that the train does stop and you can board there.
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