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2012-2035 Metropolitan Transportation Plan Available for Public Review and Comment Open House Scheduled March 20th
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) announces the availability of the draft 2012-2035 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) for public review and comment through April 13, 2012. A public open house/meeting on the MTP is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20, at MORPC offices, 111 Liberty Street, Suite 100, Columbus. MORPC staff will give a presentation at 6:00 p.m. on the plan and will be available during the open house to discuss and answer questions about the Transportation Plan and its various elements; highways, transit including projects of the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), bikeways, freight, funding, land use forecasting and Intelligent Transportation Systems.
The 2012-2035 MTP identifies population and land use changes, transportation goals and needs, long- and short-range policies, strategies, and actions for an integrated, intermodal transportation system in the MORPC transportation planning area (Delaware and Franklin counties, Bloom and Violet townships in Fairfield County, Pataskala and Etna Township in Licking County). The MTP also identifies highway, bikeway, pedestrian, safety, security, freight and public transportation components including improvements identified by the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) and Delaware Area Transit Agency (DATA). The 2012-2035 MTP considers effects upon low-income and minority residents and includes an air quality conformity analysis. Specifically, the draft plan discusses:
Population and land use by 2035
Nearly 500,000 new residents are expected in central Ohio by 2035.
As a result of the increase in population and change in landuse, 243 specific projects totaling $5.8 billion are included to expand the roadway system to ease congestion and reduce accidents. The MTP also includes $5.8 billion to maintain the existing system.
With I-70, I-71, the Rickenbacker Airport and Intermodal Yard and other facilities, central Ohio is a major hub in the freight industry. The roadway system Improvements and targeted intermodal improvements will enable goods to move through the area efficiently and effectively using rail, roads and air.
Bikeway and Pedestrian facilities
An increased interest and need have been identified in making our communities more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. The Plan identifies strategies and includes 46 specific projects to add 235 miles of off road multiuse facilities to address this need. In addition, the majority of the roadway project will included pedestrian and bicycle facilities.
Various strategies to improve safety are discussed in this plan. These include roadway, pedestrian, and bicycle projects as well as reducing travel demand and changing traveler behavior contributing to crashes.
The need for more and improved public transit in Franklin, Delaware, Licking and Fairfield counties including short and long term strategies are included in the Plan. The recommendations of COTA's Long-Range Transit Plan and DATA are included. In total this amount to $4.5 billion to maintain and expand the transit systems.
Security discusses transportation homeland security and emergency preparedness.
A discussion on how identified improvements can be funded is included in the MTP. Even with $16.5 billion forecasted to be available in the region to maintain and expand the transportation system, the identified need for funds far outweighing the funding available. The central Ohio region will need to research and develop more innovative ways to fund transportation improvement projects.
The 2012-2035 MTP is available for review at MORPC, 111 Liberty Street, Suite 100, all Columbus Metropolitan library branches and main libraries in Delaware, Licking, Fairfield and Franklin counties and on MORPC's web site at www.morpc.org.
Any written comments should be submitted to Nancy Reger, Deputy Director of Transportation, 111 Liberty Street, Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43215 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Written comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on April 13, 2012. A resolution adopting the 2012-2035 Metropolitan Transportation Plan will be submitted to the MORPC Policy Committee on May 10. MORPC's Citizen Advisory Committee will take action on this resolution at 5:30 p.m. on April 30, 2012. For further information, please contact Bernice Cage at 614-233-4157.