Rapid 5 Project Aims to Connect All Central Ohio Waterways
A new large-scale project will be formally announced in 2020 with the goal of connecting all of Central Ohio’s major waterways and trails together into a cohesive system for residents and visitors. The “Rapid5” program is being spearheaded by local leadership at the Urban Land Institute of Columbus, MetroParks, MORPC, Franklin County and others.
The five major waterway systems that would be interconnected include Big Walnut, Alum, Olentangy, Scioto and Big Darby. A comprehensive system could include navigable waterways for long distance kayaking and cross-city biking and running trails that touch most major parks throughout all of the municipalities of Franklin County.
“There’s an opportunity to create five major greenways through Franklin County, to put park greenways and waterways within a mile and a half of every resident of Franklin County,” explains Keith Meyers, Chair of ULI Columbus, in a video published last week on YouTube. “It’s an opportunity that few — if any — cities in America have today.”
Tim Moloney, Executive Director of MetroParks, points out in the same video that the popular Atlanta Beltline is a much smaller system and that the opportunity here in Columbus could be much larger than similar trail and waterway systems in peer cities.
One of the advantages touted about the program is that much of the land that would be a part of the system is already owned by municipalities or stakeholders like The Ohio State University, so little cost would need to go into land acquisition. A map of the project can be found at therapidproject.org.
More details on the project are expected to roll out over the next several months.
All images via Rapid 5 video and website.