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.

Take the 3C Poll!

Posted by Columbus Transit On 12:54 PM 0 comments
ODOT has a new poll on their 3C website. If you would like to take the survey and give politicians an idea of where you stand on rail in Ohio, you can find it here.

The Case for Mass Transit, Part 2

Posted by Columbus Transit On 6:40 PM 14 comments
Recently, I heard one member of the Columbus community question where we want the downtown to be in ten years? He postulated that, while currently we have 100,000 jobs downtown, we could reach 150,000 jobs in the decades to come. He also hoped that we could reclaim our urban core by building up our downtown building stock and population, perhaps getting back to the peak population of 30,000. He went on to say that none of that will be possible without extreme improvements in transit, so I did some digging.

Let's imagine that scenario: 150,000 downtown workers. If 30,000 of those workers live downtown, that means 120,000 commuters. Let's say every car that comes downtown carries two workers as opposed to one, that's 60,000 cars that need to park downtown. But without the massive surface parking lots (this scenario envisions a lot of residential and retail development), where will all those parking spots be?

Now let's turn to the recent parking garage built on Front Street. That garage has 773 spaces on 8 levels and takes up about a fourth of the room all of the Statehouse grounds do. So imagine we need 60,000 parking spaces. That is roughly 77 Front Street parking garages. For this scenario, Columbus would need 77 parking garages. 77. What is this equivalent to?

-19 Statehouse grounds of parking garages
-An entire Arena District of parking garages
-An entire Short North of parking garages
-Front Street Parking garages lining all of high street from the Hyatt Regency to I-70

Then comes the question of who would build all those parking garages? Development cannot happen without better transit. Period.

MSI Speaks About Transit

Posted by Columbus Transit On 2:33 PM 2 comments
Recently, Walker Evans over at Columbus Underground interviewed two people from MSI, the firm behind the design of the Arena District. The interview quickly turned to transit and a discussion of the Columbus Streetcar and Light Rail proposals. You should listen in. They make some great cases for the need for mass transit. The pair also covers topics ranging from the I-670 cap on High Street and the I-70, I-71 interchange plans. Check it out here.