Last night, City Council took another painfully slow step forward with the streetcar plan by appropriating $300,000 to allow HDR Consultants to continue to rework the funding plan. I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that it includes a property tax in the benefit zone when it’s all said and done. Here’s how The Dispatch saw things…
City OKs Streetcar Study
Tuesday, July 29, 2008 3:12 AM
By Robert Vitale
Columbus will continue to study streetcars, but consultants also will begin examining how the 2.8-mile line envisioned by Mayor Michael B. Coleman could become part of a regional rail system.
City Council members gave their OK last night to a $300,000 contract extension for streetcar consultant HDR Inc., which already has been asked to revamp the financing plan for Coleman’s $103 million proposal.
Supporters said HDR will look as well at how streetcars would coexist with buses along the proposed High Street route and how they would fit into commuter-rail plans that are resurfacing a decade after central Ohio voters rejected the idea.
“It is a local conversation. It is a regional conversation,” said Chester Jourdan, executive director of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, which has promised $20 million for streetcars.
Another interesting development that The Dispatch neglected to cover, is the introduction of a resolution to adopt a Complete Streets policy. We’ll have more on this in a bit, but here’s the text from City Council’s highlights…
ON THE ROAD TO COMPLETE STREETS: The Complete Streets philosophy is founded on the principle that transportation projects should accommodate all forms of transportation including cars, transit users, bicyclists and pedestrians. Public Service and Transportation Committee Chair Maryellen O’Shaughnessy is sponsoring Resolution 0151X-2008 to express support of Complete Streets principles. Columbus traffic engineers and transportation division officials are studying Complete Streets principles to ensure that whenever possible, the entire right of way of every Columbus roadway is designed and operated to enable safe access for all users.