New Regional Transportation Plan Responds to Region’s Growth
May 26, 2016
In a region growing as fast as Central Ohio, economic success depends on preparing a transportation system to accommodate thousands of additional future travelers.
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) works with its local, state, and federal partners to identity transportation needs and strategies that look 20 years ahead and meet the region’s need. This plan, the 2016-2040 Columbus Area Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP), was adopted by the commission May 12th.
“The MTP plans for a transportation system that includes many different options of travel,” said Thea Walsh, MORPC Director of Transportation Systems & Funding. “It also provides the basis for how federal transportation funding will be spent to improve roadways, transit, freight movement, bikeways, and pedestrian facilities within MORPC’s transportation planning area.”
MORPC’s transportation planning area includes Delaware and Franklin counties, Bloom and Violet townships in Fairfield County, New Albany, Pataskala and Etna Township in Licking County, and Jerome Township in Union County.
Through an interactive web map, residents who travel throughout the area submitted suggestions and comments for MORPC to enhance the MTP. As a result, MORPC received nearly 1,000 comments and project suggestions.
The types of projects included in the MTP are: new or widening of roadways; intersection improvements; new or modified freeway interchanges; roadway diets or access management; multi-use trails; on-street bicycle facilities; new sidewalks; and high capacity transit corridors for further study.
Approximately $19.6 billion will be available through 2040 to maintain and expand the transportation system. Even with this amount, the transportation needs far exceed the funding available. Roughly two-thirds of funding will be used on transit and management and operations projects. With the remaining third focused on freeway and non-freeway funding and active transportation.
MORPC continues to look for more innovative ways to fund improvement projects for all modes of transportation like federal funding. The funding of MTP projects is essential to making our local communities a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Central Ohio’s economic prosperity is inherently connected to our roads, bridges, and trails.
MTP Project Examples:
- Add approximately 102 lane miles of freeways
- Build four new freeway interchanges
- 11% increase in fixed route transit service hours
- 234 miles of off-road multi-use paths
In addition, the MTP addresses management and operational aspects such as Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). ITS includes freeway messaging signs and the coordination of signals from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, saving people and businesses crucial time. That saved time is important for the many industries located in Central Ohio enabling goods to be moved more efficiently.