The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning
Commission has won national recognition for holding the region's largest public
transportation forum ever last November.
The National Association of Regional
Councils awarded NIRPC its Achievement Award for Medium Metro Regional Councils
for promoting excellence through its "Moving Northwest Indiana Forward"
Held Nov. 21 at the Radisson at Star Plaza
in Merrillville, the summit attracted more than 600 people who registered their
opinions via wireless electronic polling on topics ranging from privatization of
the Indiana Toll Road to the future role of the Gary/Chicago International
The six-hour event was sponsored by The Times, Whiteco
Industries, Purdue University, U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., NIPSCO and
NIRPC. Speakers included INDOT Commissioner Tom Sharp; U.S. Rep. James Oberstar,
D-Minn., and Metropolitan Planning Council of Chicago President Mary Sue
"This was truly a great team effort by all
the partner organizations, and the honor should obviously be shared by all,"
John Swanson, NIRPC executive director, said.
The award was presented earlier this month
at the National Association of Regional Councils' annual conference and
exhibition in San Antonio.
Only one such award is given in each of
three size categories for metropolitan regional councils. Regional councils
engage in planning and other activities and aim to create partnerships among
NIRPC received the award because the
transportation summit exemplified regional cooperation, was innovative and
original, involved private and civic sectors, and had an impact on the region,
according to the awards selection criteria.