Archive for November 26th, 2008

Smile and Wave

If you absolutely, positively have to participate in the shopping frenzy known as Black Friday then save your sanity by avoiding congested off ramps and parking lots.  Use public transit instead.

Short North: The best urban shopping in Columbus and the most accessible with public transit.  Served from all directions shoppers can arrive on COTA routes #2,
#5, #8 and with a short walk via the #4 and #7.  When you’re ready for a break or need more options, use your transfer and take the #5 to…

Grandview: Get to and from Grandview Avenue on the #5 as well as with the #19 and 84. If you can determine how to read the schedule for the #84, please tell me because that is the most confusing COTA route in the city.

Graceland: By far the one of the best places to shop when using public transit.  Connected from all directions, choose routes #2, #4 or #95.  Because of the high frequency of service, there is very little waiting especially for the #2.  Graceland is home to the most public-transit accessible Target store in Columbus, but if you need to find another….

Target: It’s everyone’s favorite place for holiday goodies and in addition to Target Graceland, Target at Lennox is accessible on via COTA route #84 (again, good luck figuring that one out) and Target on West Broad is accessible via #10. Target at Easton is accessible from the south on route #16 and from the east and west on route #95.

Easton Town Center: You won’t earn any fashion points for taking COTA to Easton but you’ll leave with your sanity in tact.  Let routes #16 and #95 whisk you past the frenzy and view capitalism from the safety of a large vehicle with tempered glass windows.

The Shops at Lane Avenue: It’s as clean as Easton but without all the riffraff.  From both north and south COTA route #3 serves this collection of upscale shops.  The ubiquitous (and ambiguous) route #84 can also get you to and from.  Stay on the #3 to Kingsdale to shop at Macy’s in Upper Arlington.

Tuttle Mall: If nostalgia is your thing use COTA route #18 and be a non-pedestrian in climate-controlled surrounds of the marble and chrome clad 1980’s.  Despite the distance, urban shoppers looking for an excursion into the hinterlands have 8am-9pm access to Tuttle via the #18.

South High Street: The absolute best holiday values are along South High Street via COTA route #16.  A new Salvation Army Thrift store at High and Woodrow is jam-packed  with clothing for the entire family at pennies on the dollar.  Because the clothing is pre-owned, someone else has paid for importing it and you’re left paying it’s true value.
Across the street is a smaller thrift store operated by Volunteers of America.  Continue south to Great Southern where the #16 offers front door access to Wal-Mart and Kroger Market Place.  There is yet another thrift store, AJ Wright, Big Lots and a few other stores.

Use COTA’s web site and the new Google public transit planner to get yourself around this season.  COTA buses run on their regular schedule on Black Friday and throughout December, except on Christmas Day.  Use a $3.50 day pass for an all-you-can-ride fare or ask the driver for a transfer and get around for another 2.5 hours with a single $1.50 fare.

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