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.

Back to the Future?

Posted by Columbus Transit On 12:03 AM
Back in 1994 Columbus produced a study on the feasibility of a multimodal transportation terminal in the city. Such a terminal would connect automobile, rail, bus, foot, and bicycle traffic in a single place. Now 15 years later, no such terminal exists as had been planned; however, with the possible advent of intercity rail transit along Ohio's 3-C corridor, it may be time for the terminal to resurface. In a conversation with Stu Nicholson of the Ohio Rail Development Commission, Walker Evans on Columbus Underground found that the possible position for the station would be at Nationwide and High, the same place as the 1994 proposed terminal. Could this be the resurrection of a long-dead idea?

The plan in 1994 studied three different areas as a possibility for a multimodal terminal. The final consensus for placement was the open block at the corner of Nationwide and High. The block, the study claimed, was perfect for its convergence of public transportation (buses, taxis, express buses, possible light rail at that time, and intercity rail), the Short North Arts district, the North Market district, and the Central Business District. Today, the site remains empty and the popular Arena District sits next door as well as an expanded Convention Center. With the announcement of a possible convention center hotel as well, the multimodal terminal would work as a fantastic connector for the dead zone which breaks all of these districts from each other.

The study saw an express bus terminal entering and exiting from Front and High streets, as well as intercity rail entering on the tracks below the station, and normal bus routes stopping outside the terminal. Multiple pictures to the right show the original sketches for the proposed building. While the building would be a great addition for the city, the 1994 plan called for a massive glass wall along High Street. Perhaps with the construction of the Arena District and its primarily brick design, the plan should be manipulated to incorporate brick and fit into the district. Additionally, the plan called for an over-the-street bridge to connect to the convention center. The bridge, like the deconstructed one connecting the Lazarus Building to City Center, could become a wall between downtown and the Northern part of the city and should be phased out of the plan.

The building included office space, a large gathering space, a food court, and a massive multi-level tower which would connect all the forms of transportation. The building also contained plans for a temporary building for immediate use, and a permanent expansion. Overall, the building would still be well-used as a better transportation center for the city and its multiple districts and would act as a connector to help the development of the downtown.

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