Ohio is on the Move
How Smart Transportation is Becoming a Reality in Ohio
Since Columbus, OH, won the US Department of Transportation’s $140 million Smart City Challenge last year, the city and the state of Ohio have made rapid progress in bringing statewide and regional transportation priorities to life.
Thea Walsh, Transportation Systems and Funding Director for the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, laid out a long list of the state’s projects and progress at the Intelligent Transportation, Systems, and Infrastructure in Smart Regions panel discussion hosted at last month’s Smart Regions Congress in Washington, DC.
“Coordination is the key to making good decisions and progress locally and regionally,” Walsh said. “By working with the private and public sector, locally, and regionally, better ideas can come to life faster,” she added.
From a Columbus-Chicago-Pittsburgh Hyperloop One corridor, to a commuter app that shows transportation options and even the expected calories burned by walking or biking, the state has made bold moves in working locally and regionally to advance the smart transportation movement.
Walsh said a push is on for collaboration among the private sector and government agencies to solve crisis problems in transportation, infrastructure and the economy.
“We are out of parking spaces. The cost of another parking garage is not something our region can or should bear,” Walsh said.
She added, “The obvious solution is to tap into technology and other resources to support smart transportation solutions for people, emergency services and corporate fleets.”
In addition to inter- and intra-state coordination, momentum also matters, Walsh suggested. The City of Columbus continues to compete in Smart City and other smart transportation challenges, placing among the top 10 Global Challenge Hyperloop winners.
Pulling together multiple private sector partners and leveraging MPO’s is central to smart planning and desirable outcomes, she said.
As a result, Central Ohio remains busy and focused on the opportunities, challenges and potential outcomes for smart transportation progress.