Insight2050 Corridor Concepts, a study managed by MORPC, is gathering information from stakeholder groups along five major corridors in Columbus and neighboring communities to gauge future development and transportation needs and opportunities.
MORPC kicked off the study on November 30 with its partners: the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA); Columbus District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI Columbus); the Columbus Partnership; the Columbus Foundation; and the cities of Bexley, Columbus, Dublin, Grandview Heights, Groveport, Reynoldsburg, Westerville, and Whitehall.
The Corridor Concepts study will use a variety of metrics to assess the impacts of more walkable, compact environments along five representative corridors. Corridor Concepts will study the relationship between these corridors and various types of high-capacity transit technologies – modes that move larger numbers of people faster and in less physical space, and in a way that attracts new development and focuses growth on busier parts of the corridors. These modes, including Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Light-Rail Transit (LRT), and autonomous vehicles, will be studied in addition to conventional travel options such as driving, walking and biking to help communities make informed decisions about housing, transportation, and economic development.
The project identifies five regional corridors with opportunity for economic development, new housing choices and improved infrastructure. Each includes the route (e.g. Main Street.) and a half-mile buffer on either side:
• West Broad Street (Norton Road to downtown Columbus)
• East Main Street (S.R. 56 to downtown)
• Southeast (Rickenbacker Airport to downtown by way of Parsons Avenue, Groveport Road and Alum Creek Drive)
• Northeast (Polaris to downtown, primarily following Cleveland Avenue)
• Northwest (U.S. 33 at Post/Frantz roads to downtown the Olentangy River, and Bethel and Sawmill roads)
MORPC projects that Central Ohio will grow by up to 1 million people in the next 30 or so years. Insight2050 shows that compact development patterns, characterized by infill and redevelopment, are more responsive to the changing demographics that come with that growth and the increased market demand for smaller residences in walkable, mixed-use environments.
A key to the analysis is strong engagement with stakeholders along each corridor. MORPC and its partners and consultants are seeking direction from over 200 community leaders. The stakeholders include leaders of civic associations and other community groups; business leaders; large employers; engineers; and others.
This process will lead toward a best-case scenario, or concept, for each corridor. By looking closely at these major thoroughfares in Central Ohio, we are gaining a deeper understanding of how our communities are impacted by various development patterns and how that relates to transit options. Insight2050 Corridor Concepts will tell us what that development could look like at its best and how to implement it.
The five routes were selected in large part because they already represent a strong level of growth and development potential and a need for infrastructure improvements conducive to compact development patterns.
The impact of the analysis, however, is likely to go beyond those five initial corridors. The process will be replicable so these corridors may serve as models for study of other regional corridors in the future.
For more information on insight2050 Corridor Concepts please visit MORPC’s insight2050 page or contact Jennifer Noll.