Partner Perspectives


April 28th, 2023

Columbus and other communities in Franklin County and beyond would see greater economic activity while at the same time reducing anticipated infrastructure costs through a new vision for growth and mobility. 

In May 2019, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), the City of Columbus, the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), the Columbus District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI Columbus), and other regional leaders released the findings of the insight2050 Corridor Concepts study

“The decisions we make now about transit, housing, and our built environment will structure our region’s growth for decades to come,” states Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin. “The numbers in this report are clear; the Columbus region benefits if we focus growth and development around mass transit. Now is the time to run with these findings, invest in our future, and change policy to foster inclusive growth.” 

With central Ohio on track to be a region of three million people by 2050 – one million more than today-- insight2050 showed that compact development patterns, characterized by infill and redevelopment, are more responsive to the changing demographics associated with this growth. 

“This study has provided important insight into the relationship between the high-capacity mobility (transit) corridors and the efficient use of the taxpayers’ infrastructure dollars to address adequate housing, accessible workplaces and the resulting worker mobility issues in our region,” said Steiner + Associates CEO and ULI Columbus Chair Yaromir Steiner. “Facing unprecedented growth in our region, these findings will provide a foundation for our leaders to make smart decisions about infrastructure investment, land use policies, entitlement processes, tax incentives and housing that will help address economic and social disparities while preserving and enhancing our quality of life in Central Ohio.”

A second study, the insight 2050 Corridor Concepts analysis, continued where the first study left off by closely examining five major thoroughfares in Central Ohio to gain a deeper understanding of how communities are impacted by various development patterns – especially as it relates to transit options that move a lot of people quickly and efficiently. 

The corridors included:

  • E. Main St.: SR 256 to Downtown Columbus
  • Northeast: Polaris Parkway to Downtown Columbus
  • Northwest: US 33 at Post Rd./Frantz Rd. to Downtown Columbus
  • Southeast: Rickenbacker International Airport to Downtown Columbus
  • W. Broad St.: Norton Rd. to Downtown Columbus

MORPC Corridor

Corridor Concepts explored how more walkable, compact neighborhoods and high-capacity transit along the routes can improve quality of life by positively impacting transportation, infrastructure, housing, and the environment. It did so with two scenarios – one based on current trends, as well as one that shows how Franklin County is likely to develop if communities embrace the idea of encouraging more intensive development along the corridors.
The study also took into account expected trends that include evolving transportation options, such as: the adoption of self-driving vehicles and new electric non-auto modes including bikes and scooters; demographic shifts; changing locational preferences for suburban or urban living; social trends around driving; employment trends such as telework and virtual reality; variable gas prices; and macro-economic factors. 

It overlaps well with Smart Columbus’ work to demonstrate how innovative technologies can make mobility safer, more efficient, and more equitable. Among others, the Smart Columbus projects include the development of data infrastructure to support connected vehicle applications, deployments of connected electric autonomous vehicles, and a range of services to enhance mobility by facilitating transit use.

The application of these projects and other evolving systems – in coordination with land use planning for compact, focused growth, transportation policy, and considered implementation strategies – can put central Ohio at the frontier in a new era of sustainable development and mobility.

Read more about the Corridor Concepts report, including resources and case studies here. Read the full report below.


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