The Columbus Dispatch, July 4
Chances are the best parts of the day for most Columbus workers are not morning rush hour and evening rush hour. But it could be worse: Commuters here have the shortest drive time of just about any other large metro area in the U.S.
The Dispatch, as part of the “Fractured Framework” national reporting project, found that the longest leg of a Columbus commute typically takes a bit more than 23 minutes. That’s nearly three minutes speedier than the national average …
That drivers here have it relatively easy, even with roadway construction and bad weather, isn’t such good news long-term: It has inhibited the development of better mass transit, which many urban planners see as the inevitable solution to congested roads.
Enjoy it now, because the Downtown gridlock, sluggish freeways and clogged feeder streets are coming. Planners expect another 500,000 people to call central Ohio home by 2050. Unless we prepare now, it could get ugly …
Public transit needs a push and a pull to develop as a solution to ease future roadway congestion. Downtown parking has to become pricier. Roads have to fill up and make driving more aggravating. And COTA has to find ways to move people more quickly and promote the benefits of transit, including improving the environment, saving money and having time to relax.