Maybe the biggest contributor to the other cities' success isn't so much a lack of on-street parking, but a presence of serious public transportation investment. Unfortunately, Columbus has never made a serious investment in public transportation. When COTA's "transit mall" was created 20+ years ago the city wasn't willing to make a serious investment in public transportation. That would have entailed taking away too much road space from private motorists.
Right. If you're going to do a "transit mall" you have to go all in and do something like what Denver did with the previously cited 16th Street project.
-One lane road reserved for buses in each direction the rest is pedestrian/business/greenspace.
-Buses are free on the street for anyone to ride, and they circulate frequently ONLY up and down 16th street so you can park in one of the garages or nearby streets and quickly and easily skate on the free bus anywhere on the strip you want to go.
-The buses are significantly quieter than the ones COTA uses. I cannot remember how they are fueled but they were sweet. I would advocate overhead electrical lines for efficiency of operation but that's NOT what they do there in Denver.
Its a busy, flourishing, strip day and night, and its fun and easy for everyone.
Short of doing ALL of that, its best just to leave it as a basic street. Including on street parking and everything else that a real city street has.