Election 2016

I’m not going to get into any debate on the candidates themselves or what I personally thought/think of them. That’s not the point of this post, and frankly, there’s already plenty of opinions all over the internet on this.

First, here is a map of total Democratic votes within Ohio’s counties.

As is typical, Democratic votes were most concentrated in counties with large cities.

Here are the metro areas that provided the most Democratic votes.

1. Cleveland: 561,368
2. Columbus: 450,146
3. Cincinnati: 339,159
4. Akron: 166,653
5. Dayton: 164,079
6. Toledo: 152,505
7. Youngstown: 100,395

And the top 10 counties with the most Democratic votes.
1. Cuyahoga: 398,271
2. Franklin: 351,198
3. Hamilton: 215,719
4. Summit: 134,256
5. Montgomery: 122,016
6. Lucas: 110,833
7. Stark: 68,146
8. Lorain: 66,949
9. Butler: 58,642
10. Mahoning: 57,381

Here is how Democratic votes changed by county between 2012 and 2016.

As you can see, only a handful of counties saw Democratic votes increase in 2016 over 2012, Franklin County being one of them. Some of the biggest losses were in traditionally blue areas like Northeast Ohio.

And the map for total Republican votes.

Republican votes by metro area.
1. Cincinnati: 440,375
2. Columbus: 429,930
3. Cleveland: 400,321
4. Dayton: 210,807
5. Akron: 151,997
6. Toledo: 134,558
7. Youngstown: 102,640

Top 10 counties for Republican votes.
1. Franklin: 199,331
2. Cuyahoga: 184,211
3. Hamilton: 173,665
4. Montgomery: 123,909
5. Summit: 112,026
6. Butler: 106,976
7. Stark: 98,388
8. Warren: 77,643
9. Lucas: 75,698
10. Clermont: 67,518

And here is the change of Republican votes in 2016 vs. 2012.

Most of Ohio’s counties saw increased Republican turnout, though again, Franklin County bucked the trend and actually saw declines.

Finally, a map of the net % change for each county and whether it trended more Republican or more Democratic vs. the net of the 2012 election.

Almost all counties saw a net decrease of Democratic votes/increase in Republican votes. Only 3 counties of 88- Franklin, Delaware and Hamilton- trended more Democratic in 2016 over 2012. All the other 85 trended Republican.

Loss of Data

Because of a huge mistake by my hosting company, my site was both down all day yesterday and I have come to see that I have lost tons of data and posts since mid-October, including my economic segregation piece that I put weeks of time and research into. To call it frustrating is the understatement of the year. I will attempt to remake some of this stuff, but unfortunately I have not saved all of my work. Lesson learned, and perhaps it is time to look for a new host.

Random Columbus Photos #3

Photo Date: November 1, 1914
Location: 136 E. Broad Street

The photo shows the ongoing excavation of the Columbus Athletic Club. It was conceived a few years prior as a social club in 1912 by a group of wealthy Columbus businessmen. The organization was originally housed in the Atlas Building at Gay and High, but wanted their own building. Construction began in early 1914 and the 6-story building was dedicated in 1915. The 100-year-old institution, now on the National Register of Historic Places, looks pretty much the same as it did when it was first built, and it remains a private club to this day. Over the years, the club has had many prominent members, including politicians and even a president, Warren G. Harding.

Columbus’ Changing Transit Scene

There’s been some discussion over the last few years about how driving habits are changing nationally. I’ve seen at least a few reports suggesting that overall driving is actually on the decline and has been for some time. This even while the population of the US continues to rise. A new report has come out detailing the changing habits of cities. Here is how Columbus and other Ohio cities fared.

Percent Change in Per-Capita Vehicle Miles Traveled from 2006-2011
Columbus: -5.7%
Dayton: -0.2%
Akron: +1.2%
Cleveland: +5.1%
Youngstown: +5.4%
Cincinnati: N/A
Toledo: N/A

Columbus saw the largest drop in vehicle miles traveled, indicating that people there are driving less. Northeast Ohio all saw increases, which goes against the national trend. Toledo and Cincinnati did not have comparable numbers.

Percent Change in Per-Capita Passenger Miles Traveled on Mass Transit 2005-2010
Columbus: +1.6%
Dayton: -0.6%
Akron: -2.8%
Youngstown: -8.3%
Toledo: -28.8%
Cleveland: -34.2%
Cincinnati: -34.8%

Columbus was the only city to see an increase in its mass transit miles. Cleveland, Cincinnati saw drops of more than 1/3rd.

Change in the Proportion of Workers who Commuted by Car, 2000-2011

Dayton: -1.5%
Columbus: -1.2%
Toledo: -1.0%
Youngstown: -1.0%
Akron: -0.8%
Cleveland: -0.4%
Cincinnati: -0.2%

All 7 saw declines.

Change in the Proportion of Workers who Biked to Work, 2000-2011
Columbus: +0.3%
Akron: +0.1%
Cleveland: +0.1%
Dayton: +0.1%
Toledo: +0.1%
Cincinnati: +0%
Youngstown: +0%

Columbus saw the largest increase of all 7, although the actual changes are all small. No city measured in the US saw a change of more than +1.7%. The majority of cities were less than 0.3%.

Change in the Proportion of Workers Who Worked From Home, 2000-2011
Columbus: +1.4%
Cincinnati: +0.9%
Dayton: +0.8%
Cleveland: +0.6%
Toledo: +0.6%
Youngstown: +0.6%
Akron: +0.5%

Columbus again leads, though all cities saw increases.

Total Per-Capita Vehicle Miles Traveled in 2006
Cleveland: 8,285
Youngstown: 8,806
Akron: 9,379
Columbus: 9,956
Dayton: 10,084
Cincinnati: N/A
Toledo: N/A

Total Per-Capita Vehicle Miles Traveled in 2011
Cleveland: 8,705
Youngstown: 9,284
Columbus: 9,385
Akron: 9,490
Dayton: 10,068
Cincinnati: N/A
Toledo: N/A

Total Per-Capita Mass-Transit Miles Traveled in 2005
Cleveland: 172.0
Cincinnati: 110.0
Dayton: 64.7
Columbus: 52.6
Toledo: 51.6
Akron: 42.9
Youngstown: 17.3

Total Per-Capita Mass-Transit Miles Traveled in 2010
Cleveland: 113.0
Cincinnati: 71.8
Dayton: 64.1
Columbus: 53.4
Akron: 41.7
Toledo: 36.7
Youngstown: 15.9

% of Workers who Traveled by Car, 2011
Cleveland: 89.2%
Columbus: 89.8%
Cincinnati: 90.6%
Dayton: 91.4%
Akron: 92.5%
Toledo: 93.1%
Youngstown: 94.4%

National Rank (of 100 cities) in the % Change for those who Biked to Work, 2000-2011
Columbus: 15th
Dayton: 37th
Cleveland: 38th
Akron: 39th
Toledo: 49th
Cincinnati: 74th
Youngstown: 81st

% Change of Households with No Vehicle, 2006-2011

Akron: +2.2%
Dayton: +1.0%
Cleveland: +0.9%
Columbus: +0.9%
Cincinnati: -0.3%
Toledo: -0.4%
Youngstown: N/A

% Change of Households with 2+ Vehicles, 2006-2011
Toledo: -4.2%
Akron: -3.6%
Dayton: -2.8%
Cleveland: -2.6%
Columbus: -1.4%
Cincinnati: -1.1%
Youngstown: N/A

So what does all this data tell us? Well, for the most part, all Ohio cities are seeing car use decline in some way or another. Columbus performs strongly in car use declines and increases in at-home workers and increases in bike commuting. Mass-transit was where it performed the weakest, where it’s middle of the pack. Yet even there, it saw increases in its use.

Full study link: http://uspirg.org/sites/pirg/files/reports/US_Transp_trans_scrn.pdf

The Scioto Peninsula Reborn

The history of the Scioto Peninsula is much the same as the Franklinton neighborhood it resides in. Since Franklinton’s founding in 1797 (Columbus’ oldest neighborhood and predates Columbus itself by 15 years), it did not take long to figure out the area’s one major flaw: Floods. Essentially built upon a river flood plain, Franklinton flooded several times during the 19th century, but the most devastating came in 1913 and 1959. The 1913 flood, Ohio’s deadliest and most widespread natural disaster, inundated Franklinton with up to 20 feet of water in places, and the neighborhood flooded all the way back to where present-day I-70 cuts through the far western border. Franklinton suffered massive damage, and over 100 people died along the Scioto in Columbus. The flood in 1959 was less severe, thanks to flood protections put into place after 1913, but one consequence of this flood was that new construction and most renovation was all but prohibited due to the flood risk. This helped to stagnate the entire neighborhood, and combined with the urban decline for the next several decades, Franklinton gradually fell into disrepair. The Scioto Peninsula, the far eastern section of the neighborhood just across from Downtown, was always the hardest hit by flooding. As such, the 56-acre peninsula gradually became a manufacturing and warehouse site, although a few thousand people did live there in low-income housing projects. Central High School also helped to maintain a residential presence.

As manufacturing declined and more people left the urban core, the warehouses and businesses closed shop. Many were bulldozed into vacant lots. Central High was closed as a school in the early 1980s. By the mid-1990s, the area was largely empty except for Veteran’s Memorial and a handful of housing developments and businesses. Plans were in the works to help bring Franklinton back, however, and construction of the Franklinton Floodwall began at this time. This construction helped encourage COSI to move into Central High, renovating and expanding the old building in exhibit and museum space. Most of the rest of the peninsula became surface parking. In 2004, with the completion of the floodwall, building restrictions were finally lifted, but for several years, little happened. The stigma of a neighborhood in decline kept development interests away.

In 2010, Columbus came out with a list of 12 projects it wanted to accomplish in the downtown area. Some of them have come to pass, such as the renovation of the riverfront with Scioto Mile and the redevelopment of City Center into Columbus Commons. Another one of these projects was the redevelopment of the Scioto Peninsula. The city saw an opportunity in so much empty land so close to Downtown, especially coinciding with the emerging back-to-the-city movement. This prime real estate was ripe. The city began planning of this project early in 2012, as East Franklinton itself began to emerge as an artist destination. The Short North has, more or less, reached the final stage of gentrification. It’s become upscale, attracting high end retail and residential, as the number of art galleries has gradually declined due to rising rents. Franklinton has proven to be an attractive alternative, with such live-work projects as 400 Rich, which grew rapidly in its first year. Residential projects are now in the works, as well as more artist space, warehouse conversions and new bars and restaurants.

A few months back, details of the Peninsula’s redevelopment plan began to trickle out, but the official announcement finally came yesterday. Here is what we now know of the plan:

1. Veterans Memorial, built in 1955 and expanded/renovated a few times over the years, will be torn down and replaced with a new Vets. This new Vets will be of modern design, spiral in shape with glass walls and a rooftop, outdoor amphitheater. Inside will be an Ohio military museum, along with meeting and event space. Estimated costs run around $50 million.
2. Southwest of COSI, the Columbus Zoo will build a $50+ million, 50,000 square foot zoo extension. The building will include an aquarium, rainforest, outdoor zoo-themed playground and other exhibits.
3. Where the current COSI parking lots are, a large underground parking garage will be constructed to serve the 3 attractions. Once complete, the garage will be covered by a large central park.
4. While not yet designed and weren’t talked about yesterday, previous details have included elevated walkways connecting all 3 buildings across the peninsula.
5. Between Bell Street and the railroad tracts that run along the western border of the peninsula, a mix of low, mid and high-rise mixed-use buildings will go in. Ground floor retail will line streets while upper floors will be mostly residential. Between 1,000 and 1,200 residential units are planned, but private interests could easily include more given the very high demand for urban residential and the fantastic location with views of Downtown and the river. Estimated costs exceed $100 million.
6. Not included specifically in the peninsula plan, but surely also impacting it, will be the Scioto River itself. Another one of the 12 projects is the removal of low-head dams through Downtown. This will lower the river level through Downtown, creating 33 acres of new land that will be landscaped into park space. Bike paths and walkways will also be constructed on this new land. The river itself will run faster, cleaner and open up more potential recreational uses. This project is set to begin this fall and complete in 2015. Estimated costs for the project are around $25 million.
7. After the completion of the river restoration project, another one of the 12 ideas should begin. That will be the construction of a signature pedestrian bridge connecting North Bank Park in the Arena District with the Scioto Peninsula near the new Vets. There are no cost estimates at this time.

So given all this, the Scioto River and the Scioto Peninsula are looking at several hundred million in investment and development over the next several years. This will radically change the riverfront, and has the potential to jumpstart Franklinton, especially eastern parts, in ways not seen in many decades.

The current look of the Scioto Peninsula

You can see COSI in the center and the old Veterans Memorial on the left. The lots to the right of COSI would be where the zoo goes.

Renderings of the Projects
Overall Look

Veterans Memorial, Before and After

The Columbus Zoo Extension

The Scioto River Pre and Post-Restoration