City Wants High-Tech Traffic Control

Posted by Columbus Transit On June - 28 - 2010

The City of Columbus wants to invest $36.8 million to purchase a high-tech system that would give traffic controllers direct access to coordinate traffic lights across the city. When traffic backs up because of an accident, congestion, or re-routing, traffic controllers could change lights with a flick of a switch to get cars moving more quickly through intersections.

COTA Offices Move Downtown

Posted by Columbus Transit On June - 28 - 2010

The Central Ohio Transit Authority moved its headquarters downtown recently into the newly remodeled building at 33 North High Street. The $13.6 million renovation of the 10-story downtown building includes a new customer-service counter where passengers can purchase tickets and extensive green features such as energy-saving lighting. COTA is in the process of applying for LEED Certification for the renovation. COTA will utilize seven of the 10 stories and will rent the other three out. Notably, the building does not include parking as COTA employees are expected to utilize the bus.

YPCOTA Kicks Off

Posted by Columbus Transit On June - 17 - 2010

Young Professionals Columbus and COTA have teamed up to encourage 'social transit' through a month-long initiative combining transit with social networking.

New Parking Meter Rates Coming

Posted by Columbus Transit On June - 17 - 2010

Crews are changing the parking meter prices and times on meters in the downtown and Short North area, as well as adding 400 new parking meters to previously free spaces. The changes come after a long debate about how best to up rates to help pay for the construction of a new convention center hotel. The original rate change, pulled from the funding plan for the shelved Columbus Streetcar initiative, upset business owners in the up-and-coming Gay Street area and downtown. A commission revised the plan which was approved and is now being implemented.

Smog in Columbus

Posted by Columbus Transit On 4:52 PM

As the summer heats up, smog builds up in Central Ohio. Today, according to this Dispatch story, a smog alert was issued for Central Ohio. The smog, it claims, is caused by pollution from among other things automobile pollution. It has been well documented that public transit is more environmentally friendly than single-person automobiles and has the ability to cut harmful emissions which hurt our health and the atmosphere. Some have claimed that with the upgrades in vehicles and the lagging research in mass transit, cars, over the course of their lifespan and taking into account all components of manufacturing might actually be better for the environment. While I must question the second argument because it stands in the face of so much research, I can say that the second study did not take all things into account.

For instance, looking at the increases in density that follows implementation of mass transit means that it is not necessary for someone to drive everywhere to purchase anything. (Newman, Resilient Cities: The Sustainable Transport City, 1999) Instead, people would be able to return to the tried and true method of utilizing the legs evolution (just kidding, I don't want to get into that fight) gave us. (walking, I mean walking). By utilizing mass transit, density will increase, closer shops will open, and walking will save energy. Additionally, mass transit will increase density and help curb the sprawl of the urban environment. Columbus' population has grown 12.4 percent since 1990. While this is positive, the miles a vehicle travels in Columbus has grown by 31 percent between 1990 and 2000. Columbus has watched its city sprawl dramatically in comparison to its population growth. This needs to be controlled and mass transit can aid in this process.

By implementing rail transit in Columbus, we could decrease emissions, increase density, and reduce urban sprawl while breathing fresher air throughout the region. Beat that vans.

3 Response to "Smog in Columbus"

  1. Bart Said,

    None of this makes any sense. Cleveland has had a permanent 1% sales tax for decades (4 times the transit funding of Columbus), quadruple the bus fleet size of Columbus, two commuter rail lines, and a light rail line (Lake Shore)that has been, put quite bluntly, a complete failure by any measure.

    If mass transit - and rail in particluar - obviously lead to such wonderful things you mention, why has Cleveland ended up with decreasing population, high unemployment, smog, pollution, and a ranking as one of the top cities in decline in North America? All this, with a dnsity level greater than Columbus.

    Please come back to reality and unbury yourselffrom your studies and books...geesh.


  2. I am glad I have such an avid reader Bart, at least I know one person is paying attention, albeit completely disagreeing.

    Regardless. Oh come now Bart, haven't we gotten past making inaccurate claims? Yes, the cleveland line has not been extremely successful. I could go on about how north east ohio has been pained by an undiversified economy focused on steel and car manufacturing which has been decimated by foreign competition resulting in job loss and an uneducated workforce as well therefore bringing population decline and poverty. This of course will hamper development. The problem with the Cleveland line is that it was focused ENTIRELY on hoping for development. According to this article,, the line ran through no major employment or housing centers. Thus, it was poor planning.

    Columbus' plan for a line runs through our major housing, education, business, and entertainment centers along Columbus' main boulevard, high street. Thus, while it is anchored by people already, it will also attract urban infill and TODs (transit oriented developments, but you already knew that). This plan is extraordinarily better than the Cleveland line.

    And please, don't contradict yourself on your need for or disdane for citations. It looks poorly on someone who has obviously researched this information himself.

    Looking forward to your disagreement, CBT.


  3. Anonymous Said,

    Why not use an entry or two to promote existing programs like COTA and RideSolutions.

    For those who once though COTA’s website didn’t provide sufficient information for riding should check again because COTA works with and it’s very clear how to maneuver around the city on the bus. Sure it doesn’t go everywhere but then again neither does the NY subway system.

    MORPC releases the air quality alerts and they also run RideSolutions. RideSolutions matches commuters so they can form carpools, they maintain and create new vanpools, and they promote bus ridership. Check it out:

    Maybe if enough people ride the bus, carpool, and vanpool, we'll be able to broaden the transit programs in our city.


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