Ohio State University: Intel Development Needs Expanded Transportation Options, Planners Say | India Education | Latest Education News | World Education News


To accommodate the expected growth expected from Intel’s planned construction of two state-of-the-art chip factories in Licking County, central Ohio must expand the region’s transportation options, planners said during a panel discussion on July 29 at The Ohio State University.

The virtual event was the third in a series of “The Impacts of Intel” discussions hosted this summer by the Ohio State Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA). The previous two sessions explored housing and economic development.

“We bring together panels of experts and action leaders, both on campus at Ohio State, but also people from the community who discuss different aspects of the Intel project and what it will mean for the Ohio State,” Harvey said. Miller, Director of CURA.

The July 29 panel included Andre Carrel, Ohio State assistant professor of transportation at the College of Engineering’s Knowlton School and director of the university’s Travel Behavior Research Group; Lexi Petrella, Senior Mobility Planner for the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC); and Kimberly Sharp, senior director of development for the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA).

The recent passage by Congress of the Chips and Science Act, which will invest billions of federal dollars in science and technology innovation, paves the way for Intel’s development moving forward, Miller said. With the chip factories expected to bring about 3,000 jobs and dozens of new residents to the area, central Ohio municipalities and planning organizations must work together to facilitate sustainable growth, panelists said.

MORPC helped Licking County apply for a $5 million federal grant to collect data and plan for the impact of Intel factories on local transportation systems and the additional resources needed, Petrella said.

“We also need to look at our residents, our communities, our other businesses, in addition to Intel,” she said. “I hope that if we look at alternative and sustainable transportation options, we don’t just focus on Intel, we don’t just focus on employees. We are Silicon Heartland, not Silicon Valley, and we need to look at the community as a whole.

Planning efforts must take into account that simply increasing lanes on existing highways and roads can exacerbate congestion by attracting more traffic, Carrel said. Planners should explore options such as expanding COTA’s CMAX, a rapid transit bus line that connects downtown Columbus to Westerville, he said.

“At this point we are in the planning stages, so there is always room to steer development in a positive direction with appropriate zoning policies, perhaps mandating the addition of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure,” did he declare. Planners can design the infrastructure “in such a way that it can support mass transit, preferably high-performance mass transit such as rapid transit like the COTA CMAX.”

COTA is working with Licking County, New Albany and Columbus to assess transit options and land use patterns that will result from Intel’s development, Sharp said.

“This whole project is really about a good product that the United States really needs. It’s also a lot of jobs at different scales, which of course drives the need for more housing, more schools, more medical facilities,” she said. “We can plan this together, as a community…this [can] all be planned where it’s easy to choose to walk or bike or take public transit, because that’s how you work toward a more affordable and sustainable community in the long run.

The “Intel Impacts” series concluded on August 5 with a discussion on water and energy.


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