Cycling-enthusiast Zach Henkel has posted a large excerpt from a thesis he wrote while at OSU over on ColumbusUnderground.com. The title is “Pedestrian Space and Behavior: A Study of Pedestrian Facilities, Access, and Arrangement in an Autocentric Columbus”.
I wanted to share an interesting bit from the section titled “Streetcar and Rail Boom 1860’s-1900”:
The first streetcar line made its way into Italian Village (IV) along Keer and Summit Streets by 1871; it was built by land developers William Dennison, R.E. Neil, G.G. Collins, and H.M. Neil to attract people north to building lots along Summit St. The 1880’s witnessed substantial growth in IV and the incubation of rectilinear subdivision plots and streets in Milo-Grogan (MG).
The last decade of the 1800’s included the connection of North 4th Street in IV to its counterpart in the city’s CBD though a street car viaduct over a mass of steel rails below, but IV and MG were themselves barley connected directly other than on 5th Ave. IV was serviced by streetcars on High St., Summit St., and N. 4th St. and developing rapidly with multiple industrial factories.
I find it very interesting to hear that some of the reasons for building the original streetcars was to encourage Transit-Oriented Development, which is a very strong reason a new streetcar system is being pushed today.