Google Map Links

Columbus Development Maps

2010-2013 Development
2014-2019 Development
2020-2025 Development
All these pages are basically just map versions of the development pages. However, the maps are organized by year and include before and after photos of the development sites.

Columbus Fantasy Transit Map

2019 Transit Map
The transit map for the Columbus Metro Area is just one example of many existing fantasy maps for Central Ohio. This one includes routes for light rail, BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) and interurban rail to neighboring counties.

The Redevelopment of Westland Mall
Mall Site
Westland Mall and the larger surrounding area is in desperate need of a revamp. Recently, a proposal to make the site into a “Weston” development in the potential style of Easton has emerged. I made this map several years ago as a basic blueprint for how the entire area could be rebuilt into a much more urban, walkable, vibrant corridor.

Ohio Severe Weather Report Maps by Decade

1950-1959 Severe Reports
1960-1960 Severe Reports
1970-1979 Severe Reports
2010-2019 Severe Reports
The 1950s and 1960s maps are the only ones completed so far.

Columbus Area Bike Lanes, Multi-use Paths and Sidewalk Infrastructure

Bike Infrastructure
This map attempts to include all the existing bike and multi-use infrastructure in the area, along with general pedestrian infrastructure. The map will is not fully updated yet through 2019.

Downtown Columbus Parking Infrastructure

Parking Lots and Garages
This map, last updated in 2015, documents all existing parking garages and surfaces lots throughout Downtown.

Cool Link of the Day: Census Record Transcribing

Okay, so this might not be the coolest link I’ve put on this site, but it may be one of the most important. The US Census records go back all the way to the 1700s, and a lot of these records have either not been digitized at all, or only rough copies exist in many different formats. Due to age, use, insect and water damage, etc., some of these records are in danger of disappearing forever. Many others are difficult to use because of the varying formats. Because of this, transcribing them into a standardized digital form is critical.
This site allows anyone from the general public to choose individual records and volunteer to transcribe them digitally. No experience necessary! The site gives basic walkthroughs and other how-to information, so anyone can do it, and at their own speed in their free time. Just click on the state and area of your choice and go from there.

Cool Link of the Day: Urb-I Urban Ideas

I saw this site mentioned on the CityLab site awhile back and thought it was a very cool idea. The site highlights how cities are transforming public spaces and making car-centric areas much more pedestrian, bike and transit friendly. Since I found the site, I have been lucky enough to become a regular contributor working to help make the site even better. The great thing is that anyone can send in before and after photos from their own cities of public space transformations. Take a look: The site covers cities across the world.

Columbus has several examples that I have added, but the photos are not yet updated on the site’s map. Until they are, here is a sneak peek:

Civic Center Drive

West Town Street

Columbus Commons

Columbus Crime Plummets 2010-2014

The FBI recently released full 2014 crime statistics for its Uniform Crime Reporting program, and the results show a big drop in Columbus’ crime since 2010.

Let’s take a look at some of the numbers. First up, violent crimes.

Total violent crimes between 2010 and 2014 fell 16.6%, with any single person’s chances in 100k of being a victim of violent crime falling 21%. This is a pretty significant drop in just 4 years.

Here’s an individual violent crime breakdown:
-Murders were down 15.2%
-Rape was up 28.6%. The definition has changed in this time, which may explain some of that increase.
-Robbery was down 37.7%
-Aggravated Assault was up 14.6%.

So some good and bad. The good news for assault is that it’s well under where it was just 10 years ago, and almost 50% down from its historic peak in the early 1990s. It may have just been a bit worse year in 2014 for this, as all crime totals go through spikes even during a general decline. The bad news is that rape is historically high, but because the definitions have changed for it recently, it’s hard to make a fair comparison to previous years. If the current definition was in place years ago, it’s certainly possible it would now show a decline. Or, as with assault, rape totals could’ve seen a temporary spike above the trend line. Future years will tell the tale.

Now for property crime, something that’s always been somewhat high in Columbus, possibly due to the young population age and large number of college students.

Property crime in the city has dropped 29.8% 2010-2014, even more significant than the decrease in violent crime.

Here’s the breakdown:
-Burglary dropped 40.6%.
-Larceny Theft dropped 24.5%.
-Motor Vehicle Theft dropped 29.3%.

All down in the period.

So what about 2015 and beyond? Well, indications are that crime is up for 2015 vs. last year, though there are differing theories as to why. Crime being up seems to be widespread in cities around the nation, and some of it has been attributed to a newfound national popularity in heroin. Until we see 2015’s number sometime next year, we won’t know exactly the impact. For now, we can celebrate that the city has indeed become safer.

For more on 2014’s numbers, and to check out other cities, go here:

Cool Link of the Day: Before and After Worldwide

Similar to the Before and After posts of how Columbus has been changing, the link below from the site Urb-I, has hundreds of before and after photos of streetscape change in a host of world cities. Columbus itself is not included, but perhaps that can be changed as the site allows anyone to submit images.!before-after/ceh8

Cool Link of the Day: Before and After Worldwide

Similar to the Before and After posts of how Columbus has been changing, the link below from the site Urb-I, has hundreds of before and after photos of streetscape change in a host of world cities. Columbus itself is not included, but perhaps that can be changed as the site allows anyone to submit images.!before-after/ceh8

Cool Link of the Day: Demographics by Distance

This link, entitled The Changing Shape of American Cities, gives comparison maps for multi-demographic data points between 1990 and 2012 for dozens of cities, including Columbus. It gives this demographic information by breaking it down by the status at the mile distance from “City Hall”, or from the center of each city’s downtown area.

Using these graphs, here are some examples of the information we can see for Columbus’s immediate downtown.

% of Population with a Bachelor’s Degree at Mile 0
1990: 26%
2012: 51%

% of Population Aged 22-34 at Mile 0
1990: 32%
2012: 38%

% of Population Living Below the Poverty Line at Mile 0
1990: 30%
2012: 27%

Check out these and lots more.

Cool Link of the Day: The Columbus Land Bank

The Columbus Land Bank got started back in 1994 to address vacant land and properties, but more specifically, the worst of the worst. Over the years, the number of properties on the list has grown into the hundreds as the city bought the properties to either renovate what could be renovated, or to demolish those that could not be saved and were contributing to the decline of surrounding neighborhoods.

The city provides a few links where these properties can be searched for and purchased. The properties are in various stages of decline and are being sold only to those qualified to renovate the properties or replace them with new development. Many of them are in urban locations, and most of the houses are old, with many retaining elements of their original architecture. In most cases, they need major to moderate rehabs, however. Given the rise of urban living lately and the rapid pace of revitalization happening throughout urban Columbus, these properties maintain some inherent value despite what their overall condition may be.

The first link is an interactive map where you can search for properties. It’s a great resource where you can search by address, street or area. You can also apply to buy properties if you are so inclined.

The second link is a list of for-sale property highlights. This list is updated through the last 90 days.

Take a look!

How I Would Develop Southeast Downtown

The southeastern corner of Downtown will be getting a relative boost in the next few years, thanks to the Mound Street Connector, currently under construction. As part of the I-70/I-71 rebuild, a new ramp will run from westbound I-70 into Downtown via Mound Street, which currently is a dead end at the Split. It has been that way since the highway was constructed in the early 1960s. The city of Columbus recently came out with development guidelines for the Mound Street Corridor concerning preferred type of development, preferred heights, etc. I wanted to make my own map of how I would redevelop this long-neglected part of Downtown if I had the ability.

This is the map I came up with:

The area I looked at is bounded by Main Street to the north, 71 to the east, 70 to the south and 3rd Street to the west.

Some of the details include:
-The creation of 2 gateways into Downtown, one on Mound and the other on Main Street. The gateways could include some kind of large public art sculpture, signature signage and landscaping, or really anything that provides a welcoming entrance into the heart of the city.
-20-25 historic buildings that currently exist in this part of the city would be preserved. Any historic commercial buildings would remain as such or converted to mixed used with residential above and ground-floor retail. Historic homes would be restored (if needed) and kept as residential buildings or perhaps used for small businesses.
-4 new CoGo stations would be built.
-Currently, several streets have incomplete or non-existent sidewalks. These would be completed along with landscaping.
-Mound Street’s original street grid would be restored. That means connecting the sections between Grant and S. 5th Street.
-Noble Street’s original street grid would be restored, also between Grant and S. 5th Streets. Both new sections of Mound and Noble would have sidewalks and landscaping.
-17 major street intersections would be rebuilt with brick. Pedestrian priority walks and signaling would be installed.
-4th Street would be converted to 2-ways with a landscaped central median.
-All major streets would have designated bike lanes.
-3 pedestrian/bike greenways would be created. The first would run along Waldo Alley from Fulton Street to the south to Walnut Street to the north. The 2nd would run from Fulton Street to the south to Rich Street to the north. Finally, the 3rd would run along Lazelle Street from Fulton Street to the south to Town Street to the north. The paths would be landscaped and would have bike and pedestrian lanes. Cafes and other small eateries could line certain sections, and they could also potentially be the site of markets and other events. Adjacent residential/mixed-use buildings would have direct access to these paths.
-31 buildings would be torn down. These would be non-historic, low-rise buildings with non-adaptable uses and suburban layouts.
-These 31 along with 21 other surface lots would be replaced with mixed-use development for a total of 52 new buildings. The minimum height being 5-10 stories depending on the location. Mixed-uses would include residential over retail/offices.
-Over 60 surface lots in all would be replaced with some kind of development.
-6 new parking garages would be strategically built to serve new development needs with a minimum of 3,000 spaces. Ground-floor retail would be included, and the garages would be built with the potential to add residential/offices on top.
-13 new parks or green spaces would be created.

What do you think? It’s just a wish list I want to see and a fun little exercise more than anything. Obviously, private/public developers would have to step forward. Not to mention that the 31 tear downs just might object to losing their buildings. Oh well… we can all dream, can’t we?