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MITCH BARLOGA: Take a hike, buddy; it's for your own good

MITCH BARLOGA: Take a hike, buddy; it's for your own good

“Sitting is the new smoking” has become the new buzz phrase in the ongoing battle of our bulges. Professionals in the physical fitness as well as physical environment disciplines are now adopting this mantra as they seek to get people more active in their daily lives.

September 04, 2014 12:00 am
MITCH BARLOGA: Dispelling trail safety myths

MITCH BARLOGA: Dispelling trail safety myths

Back in May, two unfortunate incidents took place on two of our regional trails. On May 6, a woman was sexually assaulted on the Hobart-Gary border while riding the Oak Savannah Trail. Two days later, a young man suffered minor injuries in a knife attack in Portage on the Prairie Duneland Tr…

August 07, 2014 12:00 am
MITCH BARLOGA: Creating safe streets for our aging society

MITCH BARLOGA: Creating safe streets for our aging society

Aging is certainly inevitable, but the impact is greater today than at any time in the history of our country. Those born after World War II -- between 1946 and 1964 -- are affectionately described as the “baby boomer” generation, which in turn produced a huge spike in our population. Now th…

July 03, 2014 12:00 am
MITCH BARLOGA: Experience region at night with Starlight Express Pass

MITCH BARLOGA: Experience region at night with Starlight Express Pass

Riding your bicycle at night offers an experience unlike during the day. The air feels different, as does your perspective on your surroundings. Having the darkness around you provides a special type of intimacy, which depending on your attitude toward the dark can either frighten or liberate you.

June 05, 2014 12:00 am
MITCH BARLOGA: Creating a bicycle-friendly community in your hometown

MITCH BARLOGA: Creating a bicycle-friendly community in your hometown

Measurements are taken often at how well our communities fare on a number of topics. There are statistics regarding places with the least crime, or most sunshine, and even number of fast-food joints per capita. There are also measurements regarding bicycle-friendly standards, along with benc…

May 01, 2014 12:00 am
MITCH BARLOGA: A funding primer for bicycle, pedestrian facilities

MITCH BARLOGA: A funding primer for bicycle, pedestrian facilities

It can be safely assumed residents in Northwest Indiana love their trails. Since 1990 we have grown tenfold to over 130 miles of paved, regional routes that connect a majority of our communities. How they get built, along with related facilities such as sidewalks, takes money.

April 03, 2014 12:00 am
MITCH BARLOGA: Making streets accessible for people with disabilities

MITCH BARLOGA: Making streets accessible for people with disabilities

In my role as active transportation planner for NIRPC, I am reminded often of the importance of making our streets safe and accessible for nonmotorized users. Although most of my work does focus on bicycle and able-bodied pedestrian access, attention still must be afforded to people with dis…

March 06, 2014 12:00 am
MITCH BARLOGA: Despite weather, Le Tour de Shore rolls in soon

MITCH BARLOGA: Despite weather, Le Tour de Shore rolls in soon

Whoever is done with this winter weather, please raise your hand.

February 06, 2014 12:00 am
MITCH BARLOGA: 2013 was active year for active transportation

MITCH BARLOGA: 2013 was active year for active transportation

Yet again another year has passed into history, so no better time to assess the progress our region has made for nonmotorized (or active) transportation — and what lies ahead in 2014.

January 02, 2014 12:00 am
MITCH BARLOGA: Thank parents of NWI's regional trails

MITCH BARLOGA: Thank parents of NWI's regional trails

Today in Northwest Indiana, we proudly boast more than 130 miles of off-road, multi-use trail in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties.

December 05, 2013 12:00 am
MITCH BARLOGA: A Golden Spoke moment for bistate region

MITCH BARLOGA: A Golden Spoke moment for bistate region

Leaders and advocates from Northwest Indiana and the neighboring Chicago Southland came together on the state line between Munster and Lansing recently to officially open the Pennsy Greenway.

November 07, 2013 12:00 am
MITCH BARLOGA: A Great Lakes water trail to be proud of

MITCH BARLOGA: A Great Lakes water trail to be proud of

Last year, a couple of young women truly defined the word "intrepid." Best friends Amy Lukas and Mary Catterlin set out on a “dugout,” or handmade canoe from a cottonwood tree, and sailed the perimeter of Lake Michigan. Their entire journey covered 1,200 miles of the 1,638 miles of coastline…

October 03, 2013 12:00 am
MITCH BARLOGA: Yesterday’s railroads are today’s trails

MITCH BARLOGA: Yesterday’s railroads are today’s trails

If you regularly read this column, or are just a hiking or bicycle enthusiast, you know about the robust development of off-road trails in Northwest Indiana.

September 05, 2013 12:00 am
MITCH BARLOGA: Improve bicycling safety on our streets

MITCH BARLOGA: Improve bicycling safety on our streets

Last Monday, a Chicago businessman, and skilled bicyclist, was killed riding his bike while on vacation with his family in Michigan. There is still no known reason why the driver of the automobile swerved into him. You could imagine a number of possibilities.

August 15, 2013 12:00 am
MITCH BARLOGA: Transportation freedom remains elusive

MITCH BARLOGA: Transportation freedom remains elusive

Today you will most likely take part in some activity celebrating our nation and freedom in general. If you live in Northwest Indiana, chances are you will access these activities by automobile, even if they might be in walking or biking distance from your house. It is very unlikely you will…

July 04, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Visits to grandfather inspired my career

MITCH BARLOGA: Visits to grandfather inspired my career

This time, it’s personal. People ask me quite a bit about my passion for what I do, so here’s one explanation how it came about.

June 13, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Be a 'spokesperson' for National Bike Month

MITCH BARLOGA: Be a 'spokesperson' for National Bike Month

We have finally crossed into the warmer months in our region, which offer excellent opportunities to enjoy our communities by bicycle. Fitting, then, that May would be deemed National Bike Month, as it has been since its inception in 1956.

May 02, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Spring has sprung, so break out bike

MITCH BARLOGA: Spring has sprung, so break out bike

Recently, I rummaged through my garage to get my bike ready for the season, along with my son’s. In the process it dawned on me that many of you might not be familiar with getting your own bike in shape – so consider this a quick guide.

April 04, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Valparaiso has worked hard on its pathways

MITCH BARLOGA: Valparaiso has worked hard on its pathways

A few months ago I lathered a heap of praise upon Hammond and its robust trail network. However, long before Hammond officials “caught religion” on this matter, Valparaiso was leading the way in developing a series of intercity trails and wide sidewalks. These efforts were duly recognized la…

March 07, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Blueways blossoming in Northwest Indiana

MITCH BARLOGA: Blueways blossoming in Northwest Indiana

I first introduced you to our growing “blueways” network back in 2011. Since then a tidal wave of progress has swept over the Calumet region, and as our warmer days approach, it’s high time to highlight the great progress in water trail development in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties.

February 07, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Happy New Year and new you, too

MITCH BARLOGA: Happy New Year and new you, too

Another year has crossed the finish line, and no doubt a metric ton of New Year’s resolutions to live healthier awaits. Lucky for us, our growing trail network offers everyone an opportunity to actually stick with these commitments.

January 03, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Swanson secured legacy for non-motorized culture

MITCH BARLOGA: Swanson secured legacy for non-motorized culture

Northwest Indiana boasts a number of outstanding leaders who have brought a passion toward bettering our economic climate and quality of life. At the end of this month, Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission Executive Director John Swanson, my boss, will retire from his position t…

December 06, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Quality of Life Indicators can include more

MITCH BARLOGA: Quality of Life Indicators can include more

The 2012 Quality of Life Indicators Report provides a snapshot of a number of indicators, or socioeconomic factors, demonstrating progress or regression in these areas. It includes a number of “call to action” ideas to move our region forward. One Region is to be commended.

November 01, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: In land of Carmaggedon, lessons on transportation

MITCH BARLOGA: In land of Carmaggedon, lessons on transportation

Arriving at the Long Beach, Calif., convention center, I settled myself in for the start of the conference. Up first was Fred Kent, with the Project for Public Spaces. No sooner do I take my first sip of coffee when I hear him say, “If you build around cars, you get more cars. If you build a…

October 04, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

GUEST COMMENTARY: Hammond transforms with bike, walking trails

GUEST COMMENTARY: Hammond transforms with bike, walking trails

This coming weekend, the inaugural Whiting Hammond After Midnight, or WHAM Ride, will take place.

August 01, 2012 11:27 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: This summer, enjoy some night life on your bike

MITCH BARLOGA: This summer, enjoy some night life on your bike

Last year I took part in my first night bike ride in Valparaiso. I was utterly fascinated with the surreal experience of gliding through neighborhoods amid a sea of LED bicycle lights providing a warm glow upon the dark streets. Being in the middle of the pack, the blinking red back lights i…

July 05, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: A tri-state vision for Marquette Greenway

MITCH BARLOGA: A tri-state vision for Marquette Greenway

With National Trail Day being last Saturday (and with the immaculate weather I certainly hope you enjoyed a trail or two), I would like to focus on a major regional initiative.

June 07, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: New region trail maps earn your pedal of honor

MITCH BARLOGA: New region trail maps earn your pedal of honor

In 2008, the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission released the first bicycle route map for Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties. At the time, we printed roughly 100,000 copies, which were free of charge. These turned out to be hugely popular, and within two years we had run out of …

May 03, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Enjoy the TEA while it lasts

MITCH BARLOGA: Enjoy the TEA while it lasts

Time for a brief civics lesson. I'll be gentle.

April 05, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Roundabouts are circles of life for bicyclists, pedestrians

MITCH BARLOGA: Roundabouts are circles of life for bicyclists, pedestrians

Since my mum is a purebred Brit, I have been blessed to have visited England many times during my life. During these times on the island, I enjoyed many unique pleasures. Those included visiting ancient castles, entering a pub at 14 (not drinking, mind you), and experiencing a traffic contro…

March 01, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Keep sidewalks and trails clear of snow

MITCH BARLOGA: Keep sidewalks and trails clear of snow

Ah, winter. These frigid months provide a daily challenge to our quality of life. A couple of months ago, I wrote about riding your bike in the winter, which is very much doable. So much so that our neighbor to the north, Minneapolis, has taken over the mantra as the most bicycle-friendly ci…

February 02, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Advocate safe biking and walking in your town

MITCH BARLOGA: Advocate safe biking and walking in your town

A couple of months ago, I wrote about contacting candidates for elected office regarding their views on nonmotorized issues. I made it a point to emphasize this because our elected officials play a significant role in effecting change in a community. This should be obvious.

January 05, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Time for riders to gear up for 'bike winter'

MITCH BARLOGA: Time for riders to gear up for 'bike winter'

Sometime ago, I heard the phrase, "It's not cold outside. It's how you dress." When it comes to bicycling in our harsh winter climate, this wisdom certainly holds true.

December 01, 2011 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Bike and hike the vote

MITCH BARLOGA: Bike and hike the vote

Tuesday is Election Day. Some look forward to this much like oral surgery, which is sad. True, over the years a once-sacred process of our democracy has evolved into a cacophony of negative ads and finger-pointing. Becoming familiar with our candidates, however, offers a great opportunity fo…

November 03, 2011 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Horses need trails too

MITCH BARLOGA: Horses need trails too

About a month ago, at the tender age of 42, I rode a horse for the first time. Other than cluing you in on my deprived childhood, I mention this because my job is that of a "non-motorized" transportation planner.

October 07, 2011 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: A 'Back to the Future' approach to healthier kids

MITCH BARLOGA: A 'Back to the Future' approach to healthier kids

Most of us know that in "Back to the Future," Michael J. Fox was transported to the year 1955. Interestingly, a vast majority of children either walked or biked to their local school then -- no matter what grade level.

September 01, 2011 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Paddling the 'Great Northwest' Indiana

MITCH BARLOGA: Paddling the 'Great Northwest' Indiana

When we think of canoeing and kayaking, we usually picture such an activity taking place along a river or lake among a majestic landscape as those found in Canada and the Rockies, or perhaps within a beautiful state or national park. If I told you that excellent paddling opportunities exist …

July 14, 2011 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Our region's trails are yours to discover

MITCH BARLOGA: Our region's trails are yours to discover

By the early 1900s, Chicago was well established as the premier railroad hub for the Midwest. These railroads helped build a majority of our Northwest Indiana municipalities. However, by the 1980s, about half of these railroads were abandoned due to an increased reliance on truck traffic. Se…

June 02, 2011 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: As easy as riding a bike? Really?

MITCH BARLOGA: As easy as riding a bike? Really?

May is National Bike Month. With all the Hallmark holidays and such that cloud our calendars, you probably overlooked this. Fair enough, but this affords me an opportunity to delve from extolling the benefits of bicycling to a simple and overlooked issue — how to ride a bike.

May 05, 2011 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Ditch the car and dust off the bike

MITCH BARLOGA: Ditch the car and dust off the bike

Last month, I wrote about creating a "nonmotorized culture" in Northwest Indiana. This is quite the ambitious vision considering our car-happy attitudes.

April 14, 2011 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MITCH BARLOGA: Burn some fat cells to fuel your transportation

MITCH BARLOGA: Burn some fat cells to fuel your transportation

"America is growing ... fat." Back in 2005, I made this quip within the pages of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission's 2005 Ped & Pedal Plan, which highlighted strategies to help our region bike and walk more. The 2010 update to this plan has just been completed, and th…

March 03, 2011 12:00 am Photos

Photos

GUEST COMMENTARY: Waiving sidewalks is disservice to pedestrians

The debate was fierce at the Crown Point Plan Commission that night. A developer was challenging their wisdom in requiring a short stretch of sidewalk along the main drag accessing his proposed subdivision. There were no other sidewalks nearby, but the street accessed several existing subdiv…

September 08, 2009 12:00 am

Mark it on your lists, this is the year of the parkway and veterans

President, Veterans Memorial Parkway Commission,

December 23, 1999 12:00 am
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