By Joanna M. Pinkerton
Growing up, The Jetsons were a glimpse into the future of mobility among the densely populated cosmic skies: Mode of choice? Flying cars, of course!
With the unveiling of the Insight2050 Corridor Concepts Study, Central Ohio got an authentic glimpse into our future. This study presents a vision of how densely populated corridors could help address growth, financial and environmental sustainability, and quality of life. Mode of choice? High capacity transit, bike, scooter, shuttles, shared cars . . . multiple modes.COTA was one of many regional public and private partners to participate in the Insight2050 study, which analyzed current and future development patterns along sample corridors. As a community, we are lucky to have such a roadmap to consider, giving us the power of data and research to address our future growth and mobility needs.
Two scenarios played out: Current Trajectory, which follows growth trends of the past; and, Corridor Concepts, which places new housing and jobs in compact, walkable, mixed-use development. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to thumb through the report and envision how these two paths impact your future cost of living (for your business, public entity, or family). Here are some findings that stood out in the fiscal, economic and mobility analysis:
|Current Trajectory||Corridor Area Average|
|4% of homes with access to 25% of regional jobs within 45 min walk/transit||29% of homes with access to 25% of regional jobs within 45 min walk/transit|
|74,000 jobs on average available by walk/transit||262,000 jobs on average available to by walk/transit|
|1.5% transit mode share||8% transit mode share|
|16% non-auto mode share||29% non-auto mode share|
We are already seeing one corridor benefit from new mobility options, as the Northeast Corridor coincides with COTA’s existing CMAX bus rapid transit. Ridership along that corridor has increased 22% year-to-date, and as growth projections pan out, that number will continue to climb.
Our next steps with the study will include engagement with communities who plan to establish corridors, ensuring the mobility pieces are in place as they rapidly develop.
We are also working to unveil our first Mobility Innovation Test (MIT) this summer. MITs will act as “pop up shared mobility lanes,” allowing us to quickly demonstrate and study the value of dedicated right of way for COTA and other modes.
The study might not introduce us to flying cars, but it points us in a much more realistic growth trajectory. I would much rather have multiple, affordable modes of travel over the cost of a flying car. Our city and region are much more beautiful from the ground.