1. Great to know there are people like John Swanson and Mitch Barloga that are committed to building a better region that is more pedestrian-friendly and provides the infrastructure for one to pursue alternatives to getting around enslavement to the combustion engine. It is sad that there are those that think so negatively about the plans and progress that Mitch highlights - I can't see anything in non-motorized pursuits that says this country is doomed to 3rd world status as "4NRA" states, or as self-centered and negative as the perspective "J-Bird" always seems to take. One needs "vision" to see these trails do lead to somewhere.
    December 07, 2012 9:45 am on MITCH BARLOGA: Swanson secured legacy for non-motorized culture
  2. Awesome Russ...what a great story! I don't need the recommendations cause I am familiar and have at one time or another...been on all of those trails you mention...either biking or running. There will always be some out there like JBird that sees only one-view (theirs) and can't seem to find the value in something that extends way beyond his own personal need or over-simplified views and philosophy....the trails and the Complete Street guidelines are intended to make our region and our world a better place. I can't concur with that 2% stat he cites...where is that from?
    November 28, 2012 8:27 am on GUEST COMMENTARY: Happy trails to you, just as they are for me
  3. Hmmm....I would like to know where that 1% use figure Bird cites comes from? And what "use" is he talking about...just the bike trails...or all the other aspects like bike lines, racks on buses..bikes on trains and such? Even though I don't commute with bike to work...the plans of non-motorized or complete streets and the improvements they provide benefit a far greater proportion of the population as Mitch aptly points out. It takes even if the 1% figure Byrd cites is accurate...the infrastructure has to be in place before the use can go up...sorta of like Field of Dreams...."Build it and they will come."

    And I can vouch for that morning traffic surge of parents dropping off kids at school...and it is not just morning...but in the afternoon when they get out of school. In my hometown of Lansing on either morning or afternoon runs...I go by two elementary schools where they close the 2-way traffic and turn them into 1-way pick-up areas....the cars line the curb...many with engines idling....while I run through the gauntlet...breathing a little CO-enhanced atmosphere..but making my point simply running by on foot....there are other ways to live...than be a slave to the auto.

    And what is the relevance of Jim Fix? Does Byrd think because Fix was an elite runner and died early that it is a waste of taxpayers dollars to build bike trails and work to create a greater infrastructure that makes streets and bus and train commute easier for all...including bicyclists and pedestrians?

    There are a lot more other areas of tax dollar spending to question value and benefit to society than bike trails and complete streets. What about all that is spent on military and non-declared wars or "military actions?" What about the cost to "use" value of that?

    Mitch...just keep the faith and persevere...there are a lot more than 1% out here that see value in the planning and improvements you are spokesperson for.
    November 01, 2012 3:50 pm on MITCH BARLOGA: Quality of Life Indicators can include more
  4. Egads...looking at some of these prevailing negative comments I have to say Hammond is doing a great job working on a comprehensive ped-bike, alternative transportation/recreational system for the city. It is easy to dismiss it as wasting money, but "dreamers" know that if you "build-it, they will come."

    Hammond has a unique opportunity to build a system of trails and other improvements that enhance the experience and ability of individuals to travel about on foot, on bike or run, as well as incorporate alternative modes of transportation into their lifestyle. I applaud that effort and I am not a resident of Hammond (of Lansing, IL), but I do love to get on my bike and ride in Hammond turf. And that brings economic contribution to the City, whether I stop somewhere at a gas station or convenience store and get some drinks, or I end up at that ole Mueller Hardware store and buy some arts-n-crafts, or stop somewhere to get some eats, or at the thrift store on 173rd on my way back home. Point is...I am there out there and riding on those trails and willing to spend money wherever the places or needs take me.

    It is so easy and shallow to just post that it is a waste of money to build new trails and do the improvements or repairs to existing trails. Never a waste of money building and promoting a future of potentially better health and alternative ways to get about that allows you to leave the combustion-vehicle parked in the garage or drive.

    Come on people...give it some thought....better yet...give it a go and try to change your life that gets you out their being more active. Sometimes it is a sad commentary what I see that gets posted here. Sometimes there is some positive posts, but we need to work on the preponderance of negativity that gets posted here.

    There is no waste in taxpayer dollars that goes towards building trails or making a city more navigable on foot, bike, or resorting to other existing public transportation systems. Hammond needs to be commended for its excellence and commitment to building and/or improving existing trail systems, not to mention the other modes of alternative transportation that Mitch makes a pitch for.

    I am not a Hammond resident and live just on other side of state-line in Lansing, but I keep coming back on my bike into Hammond, partly cause my own home town needs to do more just like Hammond is doing.

    Build it and they will come (and maintain it)! If Mayor McDermitt is a force in this movement to build trails and improve alternative transporation and recreational opportunities in Hammond, then I can only say he should be Mayor for a long time to come. To not support this movement leads only to failure for the health, potential and economic viability for the community at large.

    Every time I ride my bike in Hammond I see this water tower that has the words "Think Hammond" painted on it. I always comment fo my riding comrade..."Think Hammond" cause I am thinking Hammond. And I think someone is thinking of Hammond by pursuing these projects that build new trails and improve old trails and link old trails to new trails and make connections to other communities like Whiting or to the Burnham Greenway Trail in Illinois. That's proactive thinking and action and exactly where the entire nation needs to be moving towards. So this fellow just has to give one big salute to Hammond, Indiana for excellence and commitment to building a better community through alternative ways to get about on foot or bike or public transportation.

    Yes...I see Hammond had difficult decisions with bus transportation, but keep in mind there is still the South Shore Line and the Hammond Transit Facility their in downtown and those are opportunities to travel non-combustion vehicle to Chicago or elsewhere East into Indiana.

    Mitch Barloga may make a living being an advocate of alternative transportation and recreational opportunities, but that is no reason to make him a reality....he is just a spokesperson for what we all need and should want! Keep it up Mitch....and kudos to Hammond for continuing its efforts in expanding trails and operating on a far-broader vision than other communities in NE-Illinois and NW-Indiana.

    Bottom-line....keep doing what you are exceptions! Be the best you can be!
    August 02, 2012 7:40 pm on GUEST COMMENTARY: Hammond transforms with bike, walking trails
  5. WTF...Much of your comments here and elsewhere probably don't deserve recognition, but gonna spend some meaningless time on the do-do you post.

    First...reference to ancestors is meaningless since none of them had bicycles and were far better than us today living life getting around on foot walking or running. Survival was not a question of bicycle trails, consultants or whatever, so what relevance does it have here?

    Second...I am not convinced Mitch Barloga is actually a consultant, nor one that feeds on taxpayer dollars as you cite. He is a professional that whose job is to work with planning trails and alternatives to combustion-based transportation. I suspect he went to college, earned a degree and procured a job based on his abilities....and is doing the job he was hired to. He just speaks out with the Times essays to promote or increase awareness of the needs and the potential to create a better infrastructure that allows others in this "citizen" world to get around without having to rely on combustion vehicles. Is that such a bad thing to do?

    I don't believe you and Barloga is not a leech on the system just to make bucks. In fact...if you wanted to earn the living Mitch does, then spend the time and go to school to earn the degree and compete with the rest of the world for the job!. Too easy to dismiss this as "consultants" feeding on a frenzy of money that you assume is taxing your tax liabilities. I don't think so.

    There are many of us out there on planet earth in this Midwest Region that includes both Chicago and its suburban and rural land in NE-Illinois and the counties that comprise NW- Indiana, that want these kinds of plans to be pursued, and the projects to be built. As in all "Field of Dreams" have to first build it and then they will come!

    Finally...your handle is "CitizenVoter" but you know what...your comments don't justify citizenship...and you might be better served vacating this country and taking up citizenship elsewhere. all I can say about your comments and your philosophy.
    June 07, 2012 9:02 pm on MITCH BARLOGA: A tri-state vision for Marquette Greenway
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