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COTA Transit System Redesign - News & Discussion

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Transportation COTA Transit System Redesign – News & Discussion

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 30 total)
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  • #1101910
    Ned23
    Ned23
    Participant

    COTA as you know is planning a huge system redesign and has posted plans on its website. Of particular concern are its plans to change service to downtown. One of those changes is moving almost all of the buses down to Front Street and off of High St. I think this presents some problems:

    1. The densest employment is within a block or two of High St. Moving the lines down to Front Street puts them farther from the centroid of businesses, meaning anyone from High to the east has to walk farther.

    2. Front street is not as well lit or patrolled, and has less of a sense of safety, particularly during the darker months of the year.

    3. Front street has become residential in some places. This disrupts the quiet residential area developing south of Town St.

    4. Dividing the buses means less frequent service near downtown (e.g I can catch the first #2, 8, 18, etc. And access a large stretch of high street. Once you divide the buses up some will be on one street and some on another.)

    5. Front street is proximal to festivals along the river, and now they’ll be jamming buses closer to the festivals.

    6. Front Street is not a through street, so many of the High St will buses have to meander into it and will fill up the horizontal connectors to front street like Rich, Mound, Spring, etc. (I believe the #2 remains on High at this time)

    Is there any rational justification for this other than the fact that businesses resent poor citizens waiting for buses on high street? This seems like a bad way to plan transit. Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    #1101915
    Josh Miller
    Josh Miller
    Participant

    Quite a bit of info on an earlier thread, https://www.columbusunderground.com/forums/topic/cota-updates-in-2014. COTA has been seeking public input for a while now on the redesign. You may want to re-read some of the details as to what routes are moving where and with what frequency, eliminating route redundancy doesn’t mean a decrease in service. The High St. corridor actually improves.

    As an avid rider, and at times an even harsher critic, I have to throw COTA a bone with the redesign. There’s a good chance you could out-walk any bus on High St. during rush hour because they get so jammed up by one another in the the bus lanes; spreading that out means faster overall service and personally I’d rather catch a bus on 3rd or Front if it meant less time sitting on one that hasn’t moved more than a block in 15 minutes on High St.

    In many spots if you wanted to transfer to a line on the other side of High it’s equidistant to Front St but if it is a little longer of a walk it might make a dent in our nth fattest city in America title. Better use of the north and south terminals for transfer points seems like another huge perk – you would only have to walk 10 ft from one bus to another and not even have concern about the other stops downtown.

    IMO you’re jumping to more than a few hugely false assumptions re bus stops, safety, distances, Front. St., downtown living, etc. The rowdiest line (CBUS on a weekend) already stops every couple blocks on Front without issue and besides that I don’t know who would’ve ever moved to The Annex under the guise that it was a quiet residential area, typically its the opposite, people moved there to be closer to activity and vibrancy.

    #1101926
    lazyfish
    lazyfish
    Participant

    moving the crazy bus shelter behavior to “Fronting” street seems about right…closer to the jail and CPD also…sorry, had to pick the low hanging fruit, too tantalizing.

    #1101953
    Ned23
    Ned23
    Participant

    Most of the parking g on Front Street goes away, I assume? They’ll probably need to put in a concrete diamond lane.

    As someone with a bus pass, I use the high street lines to go north more often than I use the CBUS. A COTA bus usually shows up sooner than a CBUS. I’m not sure how sharing Front St. with the CBUS is going to improve CBUS’ speed.

    #1101954
    Ned23
    Ned23
    Participant

    moving the crazy bus shelter behavior to “Fronting” street seems about right…closer to the jail and CPD also…sorry, had to pick the low hanging fruit, too tantalizing.

    ^^ I am concerned that this kind of elitism is, driving this project. I don’t know that I like the idea of a city that looks down its nose at the poor. We should be more accepting.

    #1101961
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    I don’t know that I like the idea of a city that looks down its nose at the poor. We should be more accepting.

    +1

    It’s also 100% ignorant to think that only poor people or those with mental illnesses take public transportation.

    It would be better to have an informed and adult conversation on this topic rather than trotting out stereotypes and condescending blanket statements.

    #1101975
    Josh Miller
    Josh Miller
    Participant

    Most of the parking g on Front Street goes away, I assume? They’ll probably need to put in a concrete diamond lane.

    As someone with a bus pass, I use the high street lines to go north more often than I use the CBUS. A COTA bus usually shows up sooner than a CBUS. I’m not sure how sharing Front St. with the CBUS is going to improve CBUS’ speed.

    No reason why the existing CBUS and/or Express stops on Front couldn’t be used, no impact on parking as Front already has restrictions during rush hour, similar to High.

    The CBUS runs on set intervals that reset on the northbound leg at Front & Sycamore so they’re about as prompt as possible on Front St, really no impact to the CBUS.

    Local lines added to Front would no longer have to compete with the High St. queue, speeding those up while doing the same for the lines that stay on High because of the decrease.

    #1101976
    Josh Miller
    Josh Miller
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Ned23 wrote:</div>
    I don’t know that I like the idea of a city that looks down its nose at the poor. We should be more accepting.

    +1

    It’s also 100% ignorant to think that only poor people or those with mental illnesses take public transportation.

    It would be better to have an informed and adult conversation on this topic rather than trotting out stereotypes and condescending blanket statements.

    ^+1 more… As a bus riding urban enthusiast I may have my moments but still under-qualified for crazy title.

    The redesign IMO will promote much better connectivity and inclusion… Chances are good if you arrive downtown via bus you already know what you’re doing when it comes to public transit but if not, you’d now be able to hop off at one of the user-friendly terminals in order to transfer or end the trip. Much simpler and better usability since they are staffed much of the day in case of questions and recently remodeled with new lighting, pay kiosks, route information, etc.

    For those who are already around downtown and have never taken a bus it might make the experience a little less intimidating if there aren’t 14 buses all in a row lined up on High St… e.g. “Do I wait for the bus to pull up to the stop or do I walk down or how am I supposed to read this schedule on the stop wall?” Adding the concept of transit terminals or “stations” can go quite a ways too with intimidation level; much more of a common concept in larger cities.

    #1101996
    Ned23
    Ned23
    Participant

    As long as there are sound transit engineering reasons behind moving to Front Street, then that would be okay, but if thr primary motivation is the moving of poor people out of site and the transit “improvements” are specious, then that’s not sound transit planning IMO.

    #1101998

    Nancy H
    Participant

    @ Josh & Ned23 – I have not been on a COTA bus in ages, since I am close enough to work to walk. We don’t have much/any low income housing downtown, and our central business district is about as white color worker as it gets. So… I scratch my head as to how many low income people have a need to ride the bus into or out of downtown.

    Most of the people I see (in my limited exposure) using COTA into/out of downtown seem to be urban dwellers who are advocates of public transportation. People like you two.

    I don’t get this preconceived notion that “the downtown COTA buses are filled with the unwashed masses.” Or, did I miss something.

    #1102002

    6a
    Participant

    As long as there are sound transit engineering reasons behind moving to Front Street, then that would be okay, but if thr primary motivation is the moving of poor people out of site and the transit “improvements” are specious, then that’s not sound transit planning IMO.

    I read the entire 170+ page study document about this. The reason for moving some (not all) buses off High Street was primarily to reduce congestion. The number of buses queued and blocking each other was the big concern. Another concern was crowding at stops, which the new setup would address by both spreading out routes and increasing the frequency of stops. I seem to remember the number of buses per hour on High being reduced by about 20/hour during peak times, so it’s not like they’re abandoning it completely.

    #1102007
    Ned23
    Ned23
    Participant

    Lots of people transfer buses downtow who don’t actually work downtown.

    #1102023
    King Gambrinus
    King Gambrinus
    Participant

    I don’t really use COTA but driving down high street it’s always seemed crazy to me how many busses will be stacked up behind each other with people waiting. It’s always looked like complete chaos (at least to the outsider). Meanwhile Front Street which I think is actually a wider Street will have practically no activity and little traffic. Spreading out the high street station seems like it makes sense as far as reducing congestion and simplifying things.

    #1102172
    Chris Sunami
    Chris Sunami
    Participant

    So the rumor today on the bus was that COTA is closing down the #16 and #10 buslines, and building a huge new parking lot out in New Albany (as reported by a community member who attended the COTA community meeting at Neighborhood House last week).

    I don’t know if this is true, but if so, it’s the opposite of what was promised. The premise was that infrequently used buslines would be phased out in favor of more frequent coverage in the center city. Phasing out two of the most heavily used buslines in Olde Towne and the KLD would seem to be the exact opposite of that. The sentiment on the bus, rightly or wrongly, was that COTA is planning on shafting the poorer and darker citizens of the center city in favor of pursuing wealthy suburbanites.

    So –can anyone confirm or deny this report?

    #1102173
    Ned23
    Ned23
    Participant

    Eliminating the #10 seems unlikely. It’s a main east-west route. It will be even more important when the Franklinton & west Broad development kicks into gear.

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