We asked six community leaders in Columbus to come up with a challenge for our young professional design teams to solve and they delivered! Walking, biking, rail, bus and accessibility are all covered. We can’t wait to see the ideas our design teams come up with.

Commissioner Marilyn Brown: How can we help make the urban core areas more friendly and accessible to pedestrians (including those with disabilities), increase pedestrian safety when jaywalking is necessary (because of handicap ramps or because of where a bus stops), and increase compliance of pedestrians with traffic laws?

Mayor Michael Coleman: Provide a long range vision for alternative transit in Columbus.  Provide target milestones for 5, 10 and 20 year marks.

Betsy Pandora: With such an abundance of non-auto resources, what can be done to get the Short North Arts district’s three core users [residents, employees/business owners, and visitors] out of their cars and accessing the transit options already available to them? And, if the existing resources truly aren’t enough to encourage any or all of the district’s core users to hang up the car keys, what resources are needed to convince them to do so?

Brent Simonds: How can Columbus prioritize mobility issues for pedestrians, individuals with disabilities and transit riders during times when moderate to heavy snows restrict/prohibit access to many areas of the city (and thus jobs, services, shopping and school) that otherwise would be accessible with clear streets/sidewalks and ramps?

Dawn Tyler Lee: How do we encourage economic development/site selection for new (and existing) businesses in those areas of our community that:
1) Need job opportunities and have large populations of people needing work and
2.) Already have access to transportation (and especially public transit)?
How can we make redevelopment where we already have infrastructure more attractive than development in farther our sprawl where infrastructure needs to be built?
And/or
What are some innovative ways to sell a lifestyle choice that requires less driving, less travel time commuting and promotes the use of alternative transportation?
How can we “package” the use of public transit to appeal to entire segment of the population that never considered it? And, do we need to repackage the community to do so?
Might we consider tax policies that are based on the actual cost of providing services?

Mark Wagenbrenner: How can fixed guideway transit be introduced to the High Street Corridor so that it is:
1. Successful and impactful
2. A demonstrative example for Columbus/Central Ohio
3. Potentially connected to a larger system