All Ohioans know the important role of our transportation system. From our commutes to work to the moving of goods, it’s essential to our every day. But what is being done to ensure it runs smoothly? Actually, quite a bit. And these efforts are opening more doors of opportunity for our industry.
Access Ohio 2045 (AO45) is our state’s latest long-range transportation plan that will impact investment and policy decisions for 25 years. As its vision statement says, with AO45, “All Ohio will be connected by a safe, smart, and collaborative transportation system that moves people and freight efficiently and reliably and supports community visions.”
The priorities of this plan, as outlined on ODOT’s website include:
- Reduce fatalities and serious injuries.
- Enhance transportation system security.
- Support effective response to and recovery from natural disasters, emergencies, and incidents.
- Maintain transportation assets in a state of good repair.
- Efficiency & Reliability
- Increase the efficiency and reliability of moving people and freight.
- Improve the efficiency of connections between modes.
- Mobility & Accessibility
- Enhance public transportation and other mobility services.
- Improve mobility for individuals who lack access to or are unable to use a motor vehicle.
- Economic Competitiveness
- Improve access to job clusters.
- Enhance freight mobility.
- Improve transportation access to attractions.
- Quality of Life
- Coordinate transportation policy and investments with community visions.
- Advance transportation policy and investments that improve public health.
- Environmental Stewardship
- Reduce air quality emissions related to transportation.
- Avoid, minimize, or mitigate the impacts of transportation on built and natural environments.
Establishing these goals has been an incredibly collaborative effort. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) joined forces with public and private stakeholders as well as Ohio residents to meet the needs of all. Together, according to ODOT’s website, they will “expand transportation data sharing, address security risks to transportation assets, coordinate planning at both system and corridor levels, support more multimodal options, leverage emerging technologies, and advance sustainable transportation funding options.”
AO45 will be an important framework to guide decision-makers, even with future uncertainties. It uses a scenario planning approach to create a robust, resilient, and adaptable plan, no matter where our future takes us. The group is considering the following possibilities:
- Current Trends
- The future looks a lot like our experience from the past few years.
- The future is driven by technology and innovation.
- Global Markets
- The future is driven by the global trade in goods and services.
- Ohio Renaissance
- The future is driven by increased population growth, innovation, and global competitiveness.
No matter where the future takes us, it’s clear that our industry will be a critical piece of the puzzle. Given the importance of this initiative, Ohio will be looking to our industry to make the future a reality. We need talented, highly trained individuals to meet the goals of AO45, including, but not limited to:
- Cement Masons
- Equipment Operators
- Equipment Technicians
- Truck Drivers
Let’s unite as an industry to transform Ohio’s transportation system over the next 25 years.