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Cemetery Road Study Gets Boost From MORPC Grant

Posted January 22, 2020 in Streets and Public Service by Mary Smith

The City of Hilliard has received an insight2050 Technical Assistance Program grant from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) to help develop a vision for the future of Cemetery Road.

The grant to provide professional expertise from MORPC staff will help Hilliard create a plan for Cemetery Road that will guide the City in meeting the demands of traffic and development for the next 30 to 50 years. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

“The goal of this program is to strategically plan for infill and redevelopment along Cemetery Road,” said Michelle Crandall, City Manager. “The plan will create a vision for this critical corridor that aligns with the City’s Comprehensive Plan and with MORPC’s insight2050 Report.”

The initial project will focus on sites located on Cemetery Road between Leap Road and Berry Leaf Lane.

“Ideally, this work will result in thoughtful development that will turn Cemetery Road into a walkable, mixed-use corridor with a defined identity,” Crandall said. “This will shape the investment in this high-profile gateway into our community, and having MORPC as a partner aligns with our goals of regional partnership and thoughtful development.”

This work will include opportunities for input from residents and businesses, especially those in the Cemetery Road area to be considered in this visioning process, Crandall said.

“We will be actively engaging our community in this process,” Crandall said. “We know there will be a lot of voices that must be heard as we ask the important question of what role this key corridor will play in Hilliard’s future.”

Priorities of the visioning process will include:

  • public infrastructure improvements, including possible new streets, improved transit stops, complete streets improvements, and traffic control changes to increase connectivity and accessibility for all users;
  • possible infill development and redevelopment of underused land to transition Cemetery Road into a mixed-use, multimodal-friendly environment that encompasses pedestrian traffic, public transit, cyclists, automobiles, and micro-transit, such as scooters); and
  • future-focused, innovative growth opportunities that will transform Cemetery Road into a true gateway that leads to the center of Hilliard.

Hilliard applied for the grant in September 2019 and was informed it had been selected by MORPC in December.

“Through insight2050, we know Central Ohio is growing quickly and experiencing demographic shifts that are impacting market demand,” said Kerstin Carr, MORPC director of planning & sustainability. “As our region prepares to accommodate even more growth, we have the opportunity to plan in a way that maximizes benefits for Central Ohio residents, local governments and the environment.”

The Technical Assistance Program is funded through MORPC’s federal Surface Transportation Block Grant Program dollars and provides MORPC staff assistance to local government members within the agency’s transportation planning area.

“With the TA Program, MORPC will provide staff assistance to its member communities with a focused growth approach that emphasizes multimodal mobility, economic development and sustainable land use,” said Tobi Otulana, MORPC associate planner. For more information about the insight2050 TA Program, visit getinsight2050.org.