Northwest Indiana - WLPR 89.1 FM
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Hammond officials look to reduce traffic impact of future commuter rail station

screenshot from Go Hammond Facebook video
Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. speaks during a Mayor's Night Out event Nov. 17.

Hammond officials say their requests to scale down a future commuter rail station at 173rd Street continue to be unsuccessful.

Plans for the future West Lake Corridor station include a large parking lot. The site is relatively close to I-80/94, and the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) already owns plenty of land there. But Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. thinks the parking lot would be too big for what's otherwise a quiet residential area.

"NICTD's not cooperating with us. This plan was in place from the get-go. They have illusions of grandeur, in my opinion, about what this station's going to become. I think they're completely overbuilding," McDermott said during last week's Mayor's Night Out event.

While the city can't control the size of the parking lot, McDermott said there are steps it can take if traffic becomes a problem — like converting streets to one-way or splitting Lyman Avenue into separate sections.

The mayor said he supports the West Lake Corridor in general, since it'll eventually bring three new stations, more jobs and new development. "It's going to change the Second District. It's going to be more condos more apartment-types of living," McDermott said.

But he said that type of transit-oriented development is not appropriate for the area around the 173rd Street station.

The West Lake Corridor branch is scheduled to open in the spring of 2025.