Central Ohio Greenways Prioritization Project

Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC)   (Columbus)

January 2021

MORPC facilitates the planning and development of the region’s multi-use trail network. The Central Ohio Greenways (COG) Regional Trail Vision calls for 500+ new miles of trails to be added to the existing network of over 230 trail miles, resulting in an interconnected network that meets both transportation and recreation needs.

To better understand where new investments in trail infrastructure have the potential to impact the region most dramatically, MORPC conducted a trail prioritization study beginning with Franklin County. Communities came together to focus on grant applications that would build trails to increase access to neighborhoods that have traditionally been underserved.

This effort began with an assessment of existing and potential access to the trail network, and how equitably that access is spread across the county. All future trail projects were then evaluated across four impact domains – connectivity, health/environment, social equity, and economy. Based on their potential to provide new access and their scores across the four domains, a project prioritization was created that allows local governments, community groups, and stakeholders to see the impacts that any given trail project will generate.

The granularity of the analysis allows decision-makers and community members to see neighborhood-level impacts of trail projects. Recognizing that certain factors may be more important in one community than another, in addition to prioritization by overall impact, the study also provides indexed scores and prioritization for each of the individual domains. 

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