Columbus Current

Landscape Architecture Graduate Group Studies / Spring 2022 / Halina Steiner

Columbus Current

Columbus Current
Minkyung Kim, Hongru Wang, Wing Yin Wong, Emily Withington Loomis

The Olentangy 2050 studio looks to the future of Columbus if the 315 freeway was no longer utilized by cars. The students decided to envision a future where households were only allowed 1 electric car and new transportation options were more popular. They also thought about new zoning laws regarding new developments and green spaces – requiring a better balance between the two.  

The Columbus Current seeks to better connect communities in Columbus by expanding the city’s network of transportation options in a way that balances the relationship between greenspace and commercial development. By implementing a new light rail, bus rapid transit lines, and micro-society lanes, this plan proposes new transportation options that will provide faster, easier, and safer travel around Columbus and decrease the need for single-passenger trips. The route designs will intentionally span both commercially-developed and green, landscaped topographies, thereby offering utility to commuters and also enjoyment for travelers and more convenient access to parks and recreational areas. It is our hope that these new networks will help funnel people to the Olentangy River where new development and ecological restoration centers will be established.  

The proposed light rail offers 7 stops along the Olentangy River, offering commuters a short 30-minute ride from the first stop at 271 to the last stop in Franklinton. The stops provide Columbus residents with new work opportunities, parks to visit, and a more eco-friendly lifestyle we hope to achieve in our 2050 plan. The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes reimagine key streets throughout the city to make way for a new line of buses. These 5 circuits create 33 new stops that will help propel citizens around in a more efficient way. In addition to the BRT lanes, new micro-mobility lanes provide a safe space for electric scooters, bikes, skateboarders, and whatever the future holds to share the road with cars and buses.  

Their individual projects take a look at 3 key stations along the Current: Alum Lake, North Broadway, and 3rd Ave. Each of these sites provides a unique take on what the future could hold for an increased population and access to green space.