MORPC has once again put up a site to allow the public to comment on hundreds of potential road and transit projects, as well as pedestrian and biking infrastructure. You can click on any segment or choose from project types to add your views on each proposal. Additionally, you are able to add your own project suggestions as well. Take a look.
Next up on the easy reposts is this Google Map I made about redeveloping the Westland Mall site. It was recently announced that Westland Mall will very likely be torn down sometime later this year, but the current owners have not yet given any details on a potential redevelopment plan. Here is the article about Westland’s imminent doom: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/12/09/Westland-Mall-uncertain-future.html
What I would like to see go into this huge site is a new neighborhood that employs a lot of urban-style characteristics. That means low to mid-rise mixed-use buildings that surround a large urban park. The buildings would contain ground floor retail with residential above. Offices, markets and hotel space would also be included in the new neighborhood. The buildings would front both West Broad and Georgesville Road. New multi-use paths would connect this development to existing paths on Georgesville and to the miles-long Camp Chase Trail along the railroad tracks near Sullivant and Georgesville. The main central park would have playground space, a ball field or two, and perhaps even a small pond. Bike lanes would go throughout, along with wide sidewalks for potential restaurant and retail patio space. Basically, this would be like the West Side’s version of the Bridge Park development in Dublin. Read more about that project here: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2015/09/15/Dublin-bridge-park-project-underway.html This would end up being a hugely transformative project for the West Side in a way that the new casino never could be. I suspect, however, that the developer will go with some kind of single-story, single-use big box retail concept like a Walmart, along with fast food outlets near West Broad. Hopefully, that is not the case and they are more forward thinking.
So here is the map I made on the general idea of what I think should happen: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zjN5g-xqXg7o.kzt8Is9kvs04&usp=sharing
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?