In October 2009 Chesterton Town Council Member Jeff Trout, R-2nd, urged his
colleagues to think again—and seriously—about taking the bull of the
Dickinson Road extension by the horns.
At the time it had been three years since anyone in Chesterton town
government had publicly discussed the project, not since 2006, when the
Redevelopment Commission briefly flirted with the project, going so far as
to retain two appraisers to value a piece of property needed to link
Dickinson Road north the intersection of Sand Creek Drive North and Michael
But Trout’s words last year came and went and the Dickinson Road extension
Now a member of the Redevelopment Commission has picked up where Trout left
off. At its meeting Monday night, Member Jim Ton—who also sits on the Town
Council, R-1st—read a statement strongly in support of immediate action on
the Dickinson Road extension.
“The fact that we need a fire station on the east side of town is a fairly
well accepted fact,” Ton said. “Whether we get a grant to build it or not,
it will have to happen sooner or later, preferably sooner.
“Coupled with this need is the reality that a fire station on the east side
(of Ind. 49) needs to be able to service the entire east side. There is a
small business district, apartment complexes, and a wide variety of housing
on the east side, along with the Indian Boundary Road area, with no through
north-to-south connection. We have had recent hiatus in building due to the
economy but eventually the Olson property (at the eastern terminus of East
Porter Ave.) will also be developed.
“On the contrary, the west side of town has Meridian Road and C.R. 50W and
Ind. 149 as alternative north/south routes.
“Several town councils have been discussing the extension of Dickinson Road
to the north for 15 years. That is long enough. I believe we are fortunate
that land may still be available to extend that road to the north side of
town. One major incident on Ind. 49 could render that road impassable in an
emergency. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing, and
public safety is the main thing.
“Alternatives exist on the west side of town, not on the east. This then
becomes the East Side Story. A story that calls for a conclusion, a final
chapter: the extension of Dickinson Road to the north. I am in support of
this initiative both as a member of the council and the Redevelopment
Commission and ask that we begin immediate efforts to move forward as soon
The whole idea of the Dickinson Road extension—one of the four projects
officially listed in 2000 as rationale for the creation of a tax increment
financing district in the first place—is to provide a north/south
alternative to Ind. 49, not only as a safety measure to relieve pressure on
that heavily used route but also as a direct and easy link from the Indian
Boundary Road to the business districts on East Porter Ave. and Coffee Creek