Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sprawling, Crawling and Falling

A somewhat feeble attempt this morning by The Dispatch to cover the issue of urban sprawl.

The article focused on placing blame for sprawl on decisions to build commercial developments where the people are rather focus on the the most serious reasons people are fleeing Columbus inside I-270.

The most seriously flawed comments were from Kimberly Gibson, MORPC Regional Growth Strategy program manager and Otterbein economics professor Allen Prindle. They both want to blame government, which is not the real problem.

Prindle is completely wrong when he says "Thirty years ago, Northland was the shopping place. Thirty years from today, will Polaris be a former shopping area? If Columbus money to Polaris had been spent on Morse Road or Downtown Columbus, we wouldn’t have needed Polaris, it all comes down to how we use public money."

I may sound like a bit of a overly free-market guy when I say that Polaris is here because that's where the people are... and more importantly, that's that the affluent people.

And What About Easton?
Add to that, there was no mention of the proximity of the other major commercial development so close to Northland you can almost walk there, and one wonders what the reporter was really trying to get at with the piece (I think it was to slam Polaris more than anything...) .

The other aspect that was dissapointing was the failure of the reporter to really talk to people who live in the area -- instead choosing to focus on the so-called "experts" and government officials.

We have some huge issues of growth here in southern Delaware County. My biggest worry is that there doesn't seem to be any urgency in addressing the transportation issues facing this area -- which is growing faster than anywhere else in Central Ohio.

With the growth taking place north of I-270, our planners need to figure out how we can improve the routes that get us from this area to Columbus without constant road rage.

This begins with 315, which completely baffles me.

Why not start by changing the signal at 315 and 750 so that each direction has its own rotating light to help eliminate the monumental backup that occurs in all directions at that intersection. A lot more need to be done there but it would be a start.

Another is to seriously consider which East-West road should be widened and start moving on it. Probably Home Road would be the best option -- but you better do it NOW -- and connect it with Lewis Center Road, then create an interchange at I-71.

The comments from many of the people in the article seemed to want to point a finger rather than accept where we're at today and make the best of it.

I would say that while the growth is somewhat overwhelming the Olentangy Schools, they, at least, seem to have a pretty good plan to address the nest ten years.

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