Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor town survey results in

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Burns Harbor residents want safer routes of travel around Town and appreciate Burns Harbor’s small town feel, according to the results of the Redevelopment Commission’s town survey.

Karnerblue Consultant Tina Rongers reported at the RDC meeting Wednesday that the survey garnered 185 responses, about 11 percent of Town residents. Rongers said 11 percent is a “really good rate in terms of statistical validity” for a survey. She thanked the residents who spent time filling it out and helped spread the word.

Among the main takeaways, Rongers said, are that Burns Harbor residents enjoy the small town feel of Burns Harbor. However, they are more split on what constitutes that atmosphere. While 42 percent of respondents reported they’d like a grocery store in Burns Harbor, interest in five other suggested types of retail varied between only four and 15 percent. Some residents made extra comments expressing that they moved to Burns Harbor because those stores weren’t present, that adding more retail would reduce the small town feel, and that people shouldn’t move to Burns Harbor if they want those amenities in Town. Others said they would prefer to support the development of small or local businesses over chains.

“There was a lot of sense of urgency for how kids can safely get around town,” Rongers said. Following that, there was a lot of support for trails and sidewalks. When asked to rank the importance of trails that connect neighborhoods with other neighborhoods or Lakeland Park, 41 percent of respondents said it was extremely important, and another 24 percent said it was very important. 60 percent of respondents said they don’t feel safe at all or feel only a little safe from traffic when riding a bike or walking around town. Comments included concerns that respondents feel stuck in their subdivisions when out walking and would like sidewalks along Ind. 149, U.S. 20, 200W, and Babcock Road.

Respondents seem to agree that the Town has an identity, but the green living theme of Food Truck Square marketing efforts this year didn’t resonate with everyone. 40 percent of respondents said it had little or no meaning to them. Some associated it with higher costs of living and expensive housing. Some commenters recommended naming the Food Truck Square site Westport Park, and the name Westport seemed to be valuable to respondents, though some people, when asked about their general satisfaction with RDC efforts, suggested Food Truck Square be abolished and questioned the existence of the RDC itself.

The survey indicates that the Chesterton Tribune is Burns Harbor’s third favorite outlet for local news, with the favor of 24 percent of respondents, behind Facebook at 28 percent, and NWI Times at 27 percent.

Rongers and RDC President Eric Hull were surprised about some of the issues brought up in the survey, including some residents complaining of their children having hour-long bus commutes to school or short power outages happening every week in certain areas--the latter of which Commission members Kevin Tracy and Brad Enslen said they experience in their neighborhoods.

Hull said the results were interesting, but noted that the survey isn’t a replacement for people coming to the Commission and making public comments.

They survey results can be viewed here:



Posted 10/12/2018




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