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Archive for November 16th, 2007

East-West Corridor Development

A wide variety of topics came to light at the Columbus Social Media event held at COSI in conjunction with WOSU, at which I was present. One of the workshops I sat in on was hosted by a young man who hosts the Columbusite blog. We discussed urbanism in Columbus.

The discussion morphed from density, or lack there of, to street cars, to light-rail, to retail, to ethnic neighborhoods, to reactions about height restrictions to real-estate. As we talked, it became apparent to all of us, that none of us were Columbus natives, yet we all felt passionately about the city, though some of us didn’t live in Columbus proper. We all felt that it was important for every portion of the metro area, basically all of Franklin County, to feel as if it’s all a part of what is a really great city. Without a really great “city” even the best neighborhoods and suburbs will eventually fail.

As we hashed this out, we discussed how High Street is the linear path to the city’s current prosperity. While there’s other great streets and connectors along/to/from High Street, High Street is getting all of the attention. We all agreed that High Street is doing well, and perhaps its time for the city to “incubate” an east-west street.

There’s plenty of those to choose from, of course. We did feel, however, that East Broad Street, from High to the Franklin Park Conservatory should be highlighted as a prominent east-west corridor, creating a defining link to the Conservatory and Franklin Park.

East Broad Street travels past the Columbus Museum of Art, yet another facility that’s sort of “left out” of “downtown”. Additionally, East Broad Street anchors a good portion of Olde Towne East, an area that continues to pull itself up by it’s boot straps. East Broad Street was once, and should be once again, a brilliant boulevard extending east from the city.

Other possibilities exist. Town Street, when it’s reopened after the re-centering of City Center might be one to explore. Gay Street is emerging as an east-west area of development, as well. Which ever one is chosen, the group felt that the adjoining neighborhoods would gain the boost needed to take those neighborhoods to the next level, just as High Street has helped every neighborhood along its path.

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