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Hundreds take survey to help shape Gary and Region Investment Project

More than 800 residents of Northwest Indiana took the Gary and Region Investment Project (GRIP) survey between Oct. 27 and Dec. 5, 2010, providing critical feedback to help the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) and The Times Media Company further sharpen the focus of GRIP, a regional initiative to reinvest in Gary and Northwest Indiana's urban core communities.

The survey asked respondents to select the top three community and regional development projects they think will have the greatest potential to improve Gary and the region. The survey also asked respondents to identify the top three criteria the region should use to select those projects.

More than 650 people responded to the survey online or mailed in responses. Approximately 150 people took the same survey using keypad polling at the launch of GRIP on Oct. 27, at the Genesis Center, in Gary, for a total of more than 800 responses.

"People's willingness to take time out of their day to think critically about how to improve Gary and other urban core communities in Northwest Indiana is a strong testament to the region's support for GRIP," said MPC Community Development Director Joanna Trotter. "We're grateful to everyone who participated and shared the survey with their colleagues, friends and neighbors."

The projects that ranked highest were the Gary/Chicago International Airport Business Plan and Implementation; Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District TOD; Downtown-Midtown/Broadway Plan Implementation; Gary Marquette Park Lakefront East; I-65 Gateway Park; Gary/East Chicago South Shore Redevelopment Plan; Gary High-Speed Rail Hub; and University Park Plan. Review a complete ranking of projects.

The criteria that ranked highest were Creates Jobs and Spurs Economic Development; Strengthens Existing Communities; and Has a Reasonable Chance of Being Implemented. Review a complete ranking of criteria.

Learn more about the priority projects as well as the criteria for selecting them by reviewing the GRIP Participant's Guide.

GRIP's next step is to further evaluate the highest-priority projects to determine their benefits to Northwest Indiana's urban core and the region as a whole. In 2011, GRIP will partner with communities and development experts to get the most beneficial priority projects off and running.

For more information, please contact MPC Assistant Communications Director Mandy Burrell Booth, at 312-863-6018, 773-640-1206, or mburrell@metroplanning.org. Find more background and news on the Gary and Region Investment Project at www.metroplanning.org/grip.

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