MORPC Approves Smart Streets Policy

    May 21, 2019
    Region is first in the nation to include digital infrastructure in all planning of transportation projects

    The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) has approved a Smart Streets Policy that leverages current and emerging technologies and data to provide a digital infrastructure network. Digital connectivity and data are fundamental to delivering an efficient and complete connection of streets that will improve the quality of life of Central Ohio residents.

    “Smart technology is quickly emerging, and we’re working hard to ensure our region is leading on this issue. Our hope is for Central Ohio communities of all shapes and sizes to capitalize on the new technologies by taking them into consideration as we plan and fund transportation improvement projects.”
    MORPC Executive Director William Murdock

    The policy seeks to incorporate the Smart Streets concept into the planning, programming, scoping, design, implementation, maintenance, and performance monitoring of all transportation infrastructure projects awarded funding through MORPC. It further recognizes that while future technology is unknown, communities need to be flexible and prepared for the next evolving technology. The policy also includes recommendations for communities to adopt their own Smart Streets Policy.

    “Through the Smart Streets Policy, local governments in Central Ohio are better preparing for the future needs of the region. Not every project will include components of smart technology, but the policy will ensure that, as we consider projects, we don’t overlook implementing the technology where it is needed.”
    MORPC Transportation & Infrastructure Development Director Thea Walsh

    The first regional policy of its kind in the nation, the Smart Streets Policy is an initiative born out of months of planning from the Smart Region Task Force (SRTF).The task force, comprised of cities, counties, universities, businesses, the State of Ohio, Smart Columbus, COTA, utilities, not-for-profit organizations and other thought leaders, formed as numerous smart mobility efforts unfolded throughout Central Ohio making it clear that the technological advancements were transforming and disrupting the current planning and funding efforts of local governments.

    The successful implementation of smart mobility approaches by the Smart Columbus initiative (as a result of Central Ohio winning the Smart City Challenge) was critical to the work of the SRTF. This connection allows Smart Columbus’s impact to be leveraged throughout the region with the Smart Streets Policy.

    To view the Smart Streets policy, visit: http://bit.ly/smartstreetspolicy.

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