"We should listen to leaders in disadvantaged neighborhoods to find out what their communities need."

Future 50 Class of 2020

Letty Schamp

Deputy city engineer, City of Hilliard

About: As Central Ohio embarks upon a time of exponential growth, changing the way in which people travel will be critically important. Letty Schamp is working to alter the way people think about streets as public spaces that serve people, too, and not just cars. The goal is to move away from building streets and highways that serve only to move single-occupancy vehicles as fast as possible, which has proven to hurt communities in terms of safety, quality of life and segregation of neighborhoods.
Schamp authored the first Complete Streets Policy in Central Ohio, which was adopted by the city of Hilliard in 2012.

One recently completed infrastructure project increased vehicle capacity while slowing vehicle speeds through the construction of two roundabouts. That project also built more than two miles of trails, added street lighting and built enhanced pedestrian crossings to connect schools, neighborhoods, parks, trails and community facilities.

Outside of work: Schamp serves as chair of the Central Ohio Greenways board and on the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s sustainability advisory committee. She also serves on other regional working groups and committees focused on mobility and safety.

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What does Columbus need to thrive? “New residents and more jobs bring a lot of exciting opportunity to Central Ohio, but we need to make sure that our region’s successes are shared equitably. Columbus needs to invest in more mobility options to serve all people.”

Schamp’s idea: “An annual project should include some way to identify and engage leaders in some of Central Ohio’s disadvantaged neighborhoods. Then we should listen to them to find out what their communities need before we start a project. So often, I think we have ideas of what struggling communities need, but we do not take the time to ask and listen.”

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