The merger which
the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) was pushing of the Northwestern
Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) and the Chicago Metropolitan
Agency for Planning (CMAP) is dead.
At the Chesterton
Town Council’s meeting Monday night, Member Jim Ton, R-1st--and last year’s
president of the NIRPC Executive Committee--reported that DOT has abandoned
the field and will not be pursuing the merger.
The proposed merger
was blasted last year, not only by Ton and NIRPC but by Indiana’s and
Illinois’ Congressional delegations, on the ground that it would create
bureaucratic quagmires in the regional transportation planning and funding
process and would prove to be far worse a cure than whatever illness it was
intended to fix.
Ton in particular
warned last fall that a merger of NIRPC and CMAP would inevitably lead to
Northwest Indiana’s getting short shrift when it came to federal funding of
regional and local transportation projects.
relief and satisfaction on Monday that the DOT has let the idea die.