John Ross at Columbus Alive interviewed both candidates for mayor of Columbus last week. Both were asked about a variety of topics, but I wanted to link specifically to what pertains to the future of transportation in Columbus.
You’ve come out strongly against Mayor Coleman’s streetcar plan, saying they would be “a device to move rich people from the Short North to German Village.” What would you propose to improve public transportation?
My objection to it is that I see a project like that as the icing on the cake to a robust public-transportation system. It’s not the place to start; it’s the place to finish.
My more fundamental concern is making sure that people who are in need of public transportation throughout Central Ohio, especially in the city, have access to adequate public transportation.
We need to give a real shot in the arm to [the Central Ohio Transit Authority], to get it back on its feet and get public transportation generally under control here.
I think that it’s not in the cards in the short run, but it needs to happen that we develop public transportation [routes] to what are going to be two real development sites for employment in the next 20 years—the intermodal hub out at Rickenbacker and down towards the southern part of the county where they’re doing the rail intermodal.