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The Only Way to Give Columbus a True Identity

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion The Only Way to Give Columbus a True Identity

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  • #522078

    geoyui
    Participant

    Gil Ligg said:
    Just b/c you think someone is “trolling” does not mean that they are.

    Have any of you thought that you ALL are guilty of group think? I mean, it’s clear that people on this message board don’t take it lightly when someone criticizes Columbus, but for ya’ll to dismiss criticism as “trolling” is pretty damn immature and conformist.

    I suggest some of you need to step back and look at this topic of discussion from the POV of someone that has no biases for or against Columbus. When you do this the only logical conclusion is that this city is the definition of the status quo. Why else would it be such a great test market for companies?

    Practice what you preach, then we’ll take you seriously.

    #522079

    InnerCore
    Participant

    I have repeatedly been talking about public transit and zoning. There has been a large shift in America about how to do these things better. This has nothing to do with trying to be like another city. If they learned how to operate schools better in Denver we would say “we don’t need to copy Denver and educate our children better.”

    I think it obvious to even most here that balanced public transportation system that includes better roads for cars, more efficient bus system, light rail, car share programs, bike lanes and paths, etc. is best option for a sustainable well developed city.

    But the status quo here has been to ignore light right and instead to focus mainly on the car. And I haven’t found anything indicating that this is going to change anytime soon. Even the people on this board who agree with a balanced plan have indicated that nothing is going to happen and the only hope of ever bringing change is to simply wait until a new generation of officials come to power.

    Now compare that to Charlotte:
    [quote]Initially, the city dealt with the onslaught of residents by building more roads and developing office space in the suburbs. Growth was accompanied by the familiar issues of sprawl, congestion, and urban decay.

    But Charlotte’s top-tier workforce rebelled. According to Tom Flynn, former Charlotte economic development director, the city’s business community led the effort to transform the city in order to retain talent. “As the banks grew up in the 1990s, they were able to attract a more diverse workforce,” he says. “This new workforce wanted a different urban lifestyle, so the markets responded in order to keep top talent.”

    According to Flynn, Charlotte’s business community and city government teamed up to revitalize the Uptown area. This has led to sustainable improvements in the streetscape that are likely to continue for years ahead. He says that former Mayor Pat McCrory’s vision for expanding the city’s bus system and introducing a successful light rail system created a thriving Charlotte region has been carried over into current Mayor Anthony Foxx’s commitment to improving the city’s business district, extending the light rail system, and fully integrating land use and transportation planning.
    [/quote]

    Here is a city that a few years ago had considerable less people with much less density. However they didn’t just settle for the status quo and say lets wait until we get so dense that we have to rethink our transit options. Instead they knew that if they knew they had to be competitive to retain and continue to attract a talented workforce.

    Now I don’t see anyone who thinks that Charlotte is somehow trying to be like Austin, Denver or Portland. Charlotte is still Charlotte. It’s just now better equipped to for the next generation.

    Now here we have Columbus with a growing diverse healthcare and tech industry. Are we thinking a head on how to keep that talent and attract more? Well the surveys that Columbus’ own Chamber of commerce did of young professionals indicated the top theme was transit and the second one was downtown. Seems like a light rail system downtown hits those points.

    So instead of officials recognizing that a more modern transit system will retain and attract a better workforce our officials are talk about how we have to go slow with minor road changes so we don’t cause downtown employers to leave. Do they somehow think the people moving downtown are going to want to work in the suburbs???

    I’m unaware of any proposals are movements to shift Columbus away from the current status quo.

    #522080
    Chris Sunami
    Chris Sunami
    Participant

    Gil Ligg said:Have any of you thought that you ALL are guilty of group think?

    I don’t think people on this board tend to think alike with regards to most issues –witness the frequent battles. But are many people on this board because they are passionate about Columbus? Yes. If that’s group think, I plead guilty.

    “Conversation is so five years ago”
    And yet, we are having the same conversations now, problems must still exist.

    Five years ago, the fact that Easton was built outside downtown was a tragedy because downtown was dead. Today we have the Mile, the Commons, revitalized Long and Gay streets and Pearl Market. Is there still more to be done? Of course, but the contrast with Easton isn’t so stark anymore.

    Five years ago, the streetcar proposal had just been shot down. Today, there’s a growing groundswell of rail support. Obviously this one isn’t over until we’re riding trains, but the momentum is there.

    Five years Austin already had SWSX, but Columbus didn’t yet have Independent’s Day, CIAC or the Halloween party. Of course problems still exist. But Columbus 2012 ≠ Columbus 2007, and anyone who doesn’t take that as a starting point is going to be off track.

    #522081

    DTown
    Participant

    Gil Ligg said:
    … the only logical conclusion is that this city is the definition of the status quo. Why else would it be such a great test market for companies?

    I’m not sure you know what status quo means. If Columbus were the definition of status quo, we’d be a good test market for horse & buggy manufacturers.

    We’re a good test market because, at any given time, Columbus provides a reasonably accurate, small-scale representation of the entire country as a whole. If anything, that would say that we are more dynamic than most places in the US.

    Have any of you thought that you ALL are guilty of group think?

    Or, you know, it might just be that your premise is flawed and your assertions are wrong.

    #522082

    InnerCore
    Participant

    ChrisSunami said:

    Five years ago, the fact that Easton was built outside downtown was a tragedy because downtown was dead. Today we have the Mile, the Commons, revitalized Long and Gay streets and Pearl Market. Is there still more to be done? Of course, but the contrast with Easton isn’t so stark anymore.

    I’m definitely in agreement here. When I move back I’ll definitely be voting with my dollar and choosing one of these places to live. When I left Columbus I had no such options, so this is a great improvement.

    ChrisSunami said:
    Five years ago, the streetcar proposal had just been shot down. Today, there’s a growing groundswell of rail support. Obviously this one isn’t over until we’re riding trains, but the momentum is there.

    I’d like to know what you’re basing this off of other than wishful thinking. The streetcar plan died in early 2011 not 2007 when it was just proposed. I can’t image some massive shift in a couple years.

    Here is an article from 2010 stating that what is holding Downtown back is parking garages?!?!

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2010/08/13/parking-ills-hold-back-downtown-panel-says.html

    [quote]Mass transit might be in vogue, but parking holds the key to Downtown revitalization, a panel of Columbus business and civic leaders says.

    Parking is the biggest reason companies say they can’t locate Downtown, said panelist Kacey Campbell Brankamp, retail recruiter for the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District.[/quote]

    They are actually creating a climate where it is HARDER to get better public transit. “Let’s build parking garages that no one wants to live near so everyone can live in the suburbs and drive into downtown to work.”

    There is clearly no momentum for rail here. I’d love to be wrong so please point me in the right direction if there is.

    ChrisSunami said:
    Five years Austin already had SWSX, but Columbus didn’t yet have Independent’s Day, CIAC or the Halloween party. Of course problems still exist. But Columbus 2012 ≠ Columbus 2007, and anyone who doesn’t take that as a starting point is going to be off track.

    I think its obvious to everyone that Columbus 2012 is better than Columbus 2007. They same could be said for 99% of America. That’s not the point I’m making. I’m saying Columbus 2012 is falling further behind Austin, Denver, and Charlotte 2012. Put it this way, if Columbus was moving along at 20 mph in 2007 then Charlotte was moving at 40 mph considering they had just introduced light rail. So now in 2012 Columbus has gone from 20 mph up to 30 mph. The problem is Charlotte is now moving along at 60 mph building mixed use urban neighborhoods around their rail line.

    [quote]Next week, over three thousand real estate, urban planning, and land use experts will visit Charlotte for the annual ULI Spring Meeting. With the theme “The Power to Lead, the Energy to Thrive,” the meeting will showcase a number of topics including the benefits of sustainable communities, financing energy and efficient retrofits, mixed-use development, and innovative urban initiatives. The meeting will shine a spotlight on Charlotte and showcase how it has addressed rapid growth with a focus on green development and quality of life.[/quote]

    Columbus is doing it backwards. We are letting the development come downtown with no rail so most people will still use their cars because of convenience. We then wait to see how that works out and then start thinking about how we then adapt to whats there, slowly changes a few streets from one way to two ways. We should be building the infrastructure first then letting the development that is best catered to that infrastructure develop.

    For example in many other cities zoning code, they let developers build less parking downtown if it’s close to a rail line. That allows the developers to offer units at a cheaper price to people who can live/work downtown and don’t need a car.

    Without an option like this the developer has to build the extra parking which pushes prices higher. So now if you have someone who doesn’t need a car and want’s to live downtown he still has to pay the higher price no matter what.

    #522083

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    I wish we could just talk about Columbus and not bring up every city in the nation to scream about how it’s falling behind. I can guarantee that 50 years ago, there were people like InnerCore saying the same things. OMG, we’re falling behind Cleveland and Detroit! 20 years ago it was Portland. Now it’s Charlotte and Austin. In all that time, Columbus has maintained a strong economy, kept up with consistent, double-digit growth, steadily gained amenities, revitalized neighborhoods to the point of being nationally recognized, attracted increasing numbers of immigrants and overall, maintained a relative low cost of living, has had fantastic success at being a small business incubator and has vastly improved its national profile. I’d say that’s pretty damn good for a city that people kept saying should be something else. Columbus is never going to be any of those places, and thank god for that. A train does not make a city. We all want that train, along with a million other things for Columbus because we know it’s great and we want it to get even better. That should go without saying. But constantly harping about how it’s not Charlotte or Denver or whatever other city people happen to think is hip at the moment accomplishes nothing. Columbus deserves to be taken for what it is (and isn’t) and build upon that. Frankly, I don’t give a shit what Austin’s doing. Let Columbus grow and develop as Columbus.

    #522084

    bman
    Participant

    ChrisSunami said:
    I don’t think people on this board tend to think alike with regards to most issues –witness the frequent battles. But are many people on this board because they are passionate about Columbus? Yes. If that’s group think, I plead guilty.

    Five years ago, the fact that Easton was built outside downtown was a tragedy because downtown was dead. Today we have the Mile, the Commons, revitalized Long and Gay streets and Pearl Market. Is there still more to be done? Of course, but the contrast with Easton isn’t so stark anymore.

    Five years ago, the streetcar proposal had just been shot down. Today, there’s a growing groundswell of rail support. Obviously this one isn’t over until we’re riding trains, but the momentum is there.

    Five years Austin already had SWSX, but Columbus didn’t yet have Independent’s Day, CIAC or the Halloween party. Of course problems still exist. But Columbus 2012 ≠ Columbus 2007, and anyone who doesn’t take that as a starting point is going to be off track.

    Growing GROUNDSWELL for rail … on ColumbusUnderground … right?

    LOL

    #522085
    Stephen43215
    Stephen43215
    Participant

    Since I moved to Columbus 10 years ago almost everything about this city has changed for the better. I do get frustrated with not having better public transportation and the bland designs of some of the new projects but Columbus is still going in the right direction. You can actually go to other major cities and people now know where Columbus,Ohio is.

    #522086
    Chris Sunami
    Chris Sunami
    Participant

    bman said:
    Growing GROUNDSWELL for rail … on ColumbusUnderground … right?

    All right, you guys got me. I give. Rail still looks bleak here, and if that is in fact the sole determinant of our city’s future, we’re in trouble.

    But given how fast things are changing here, I haven’t given up hope. Who just a few years ago would have predicted the massive increase in biking here?

    #522087
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    I spoke on a panel at the Columbus Metropolitan Club last week, and the audience was filled with executives and civic leaders all across the spectrum (as it is every week). The topic was the “Metropolitan Transformation” of Columbus over the past decade and continuing into the future.

    The need for rail transit was one small part of the conversation. But our moderator (Keith Myers, principle at MKSK, one of the largest urban planning firms in town) brought it up and it was discussed.

    When it got to the Q&A section with the audience, over half of the questions were directly related to rail-based transit. Everyone wanted to know why we don’t already have it, how critical it is to the future, and how we can push forward with developing it.

    That’s just one anecdote, but it was surprised by the supportive questions at the forum. As far as I know, none of those people are regular CU posters (though possibly readers).

    While you might not see anyone picketing the streets for a Streetcar anytime soon, there is support for rail-based transit beyond just the CU messageboard. The problem is that there’s not much for those supporters to do in the interim until something is built. You can still ride a bike without bike lanes. Can’t ride a streetcar without a streetcar.

    #522088
    Chris Sherman
    Chris Sherman
    Participant

    InnerCore said:

    Columbus is doing it backwards. We are letting the development come downtown with no rail so most people will still use their cars because of convenience. We then wait to see how that works out and then start thinking about how we then adapt to whats there, slowly changes a few streets from one way to two ways. We should be building the infrastructure first then letting the development that is best catered to that infrastructure develop.

    For example in many other cities zoning code, they let developers build less parking downtown if it’s close to a rail line. That allows the developers to offer units at a cheaper price to people who can live/work downtown and don’t need a car.

    Without an option like this the developer has to build the extra parking which pushes prices higher. So now if you have someone who doesn’t need a car and want’s to live downtown he still has to pay the higher price no matter what.

    Downtown has reduced to zero parking requirements in place since 2010. This has been key to the recent redevelopment downtown. It’s a step in the right direction.

    #522089

    david161
    Participant

    Although the Columbus area is home to the best zoo in the country, the largest and one of the best universities, one of the least congested highway systems, many innovative companies, a fairly stable employment picture and most of the people that live in the area like it, we don’t show the pride that a city of our size should. As an example, I lived in Houston for a while after college and there was always a battle between whether Houston or Dallas was the better city. We live the 15th largest city in the US, the largest city, by far, in Ohio and the 31st largest metro area in the country and we act like Columbus is some little college town. My vision for Columbus is a community where the media, local companies and the residents are proud to live here and everyone is involved in promoting the city. We need to believe in ourselves first, before we can improve our national image. We need to stand up and state that this is COLUMBUS, not apologetically state that we live in columbus, ohio.

    #522090
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    david161 said:
    …we act like Columbus is some little college town.

    Who’s “we”?

    #522091

    InnerCore
    Participant

    Chris Sherman said:
    Downtown has reduced to zero parking requirements in place since 2010. This has been key to the recent redevelopment downtown. It’s a step in the right direction.

    I found the no parking requirements in zoning code under the downtown district. That’s I agree is a step in the right direction.

    #522092

    InnerCore
    Participant

    Walker said:</cite

    While you might not see anyone picketing the streets for a Streetcar anytime soon, there is support for rail-based transit beyond just the CU messageboard. The problem is that there’s not much for those supporters to do in the interim until something is built. You can still ride a bike without bike lanes. Can’t ride a streetcar without a streetcar.

    This is the part where I disagree. You don’t have to picket in the streets but you do have to do more than sit around and wait for something to maybe happen. Groups like TransitColumbus should be helping to organize people to show political support. Better transit and infrastructure is probably the most important issue to the growth of an area. I’d be demanding to know where every elected official in all future elections stands in regards to better public transit and if they aren’t for it I would vote against them. Having polls showing that 60% of people support a rail line doesn’t mean much if officials know people aren’t actually voting on this issue. Or why not collect signatures for a referendum process. It sounds like event he people who support this issue are just waiting around for someone else to take the lead.

    People in Charlotte weren’t picketing in the streets, they just had people to take the lead.

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