Event Showcases Ideas for Future of Transit in Columbus
If the ideas presented at Seventh Son Brewing Company Tuesday night are any indication, young professionals in Columbus are dreaming big about the future of transit in the region. Six teams – tasked by Columbus leaders with tackling a variety of transit questions – presented their answers as part of GOOD IDEAS Columbus, a program put together by advocacy group Transit Columbus and the Create Columbus Commission.
While a light rail system extending from downtown to Ohio Stadium was perhaps the most eye-catching of the six proposals unveiled at the event, other teams left no stone unturned in trying to envision a multi-modal Columbus that is friendlier to pedestrians, cyclists, and individuals with disabilities.
The light rail proposal sought to answer the challenge of developer Mark Wagenbrenner, who asked how “fixed guideway transit” could best be introduced to the High Street corridor. The answer his group came up with involves a system running along Lane Avenue and High Street through campus, and on Summit and Fourth Streets through the Short North to downtown. The group prepared a website that examines funding possibilities and looks at how the route could be expanded in the future.
Another team – led by United Way’s Dawn Tyler Lee – presented ideas aimed at expanding COTA’s user base and bringing increased economic activity to the neighborhoods that need it most. Ideas ranged from new maps to smart phone apps to ticket kiosks.
Transit Columbus board member Josh Lapp was impressed by what he saw; “I was astounded by the creative proposals put forward by our six GOOD IDEAS design teams. From colored bus stop pads to light rail lines, the teams came up with both short and long term proposals to improve transportation in Columbus. Transit Columbus is committed to pushing these fantastic proposals forward and will convene a working group to pursue implementation of the ideas.”
For more information on GOOD IDEAS Columbus, visit www.transitcolumbus.org.
All photos by Mike Beaumont.