Nationwide Boulevard Road Diet on Track for Fall Completion
A Nationwide Boulevard construction project meant to spruce up the street and make it more pedestrian-friendly is on track to wrap up this fall. The center median is being widened, new street trees are being planted, and landscaped bump-outs are being added to curbside parking lanes to lessen the distance pedestrians need to walk to cross the wide street.
Steven Cordetti of the City of Columbus Department of Public Service said that most of the work – which stretches from North Fourth Street to North Front Street – will be finished by mid-November, with additional landscaping work continuing into December.
Planners made room for the new amenities primarily through a narrowing of the travel lanes on the street, which was originally designed to accommodate a proposed high-speed access road to State Route 315. National walkability expert Jeff Speck asserted in a recent CU interview that many of the problems associated with high-traffic streets can be addressed by narrowing travel lanes.
The idea for the project came from a 2008 study by local planning and landscape architecture firm MKSK. The study, called the Downtown Columbus Public Realm Enhancement Study and commissioned by the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District, outlined ideas and concepts for improving a variety of public areas downtown.
Funding for the $3.6 million dollar project comes from both the City of Columbus and property owners along Nationwide Boulevard. Capital Crossroads will maintain the improvements.
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Photo by Walker Evans.