Transportation initiative discussed at Westland Area Commission meeting

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By Hannah Poling
Staff Writer

Zachary Sunderland, with the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) attended the January meeting of the Westland Area Commission to discuss the LinkUS initiative.

“LinkUS is a partnership for strategic growth and mobility investment,” said Sunderland.
The principal sponsors of this initiative are the city of Columbus, COTA, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), and Franklin County.

LinkUS will attempt to provide a mobility system along important regional corridors focused on growth patterns.

A study by MORPC determined that there would be an estimated one million people moving to central Ohio by 2050. With this in mind, four regional corridors were created Northwest, West Broad, East Broad and East Main. This initiative plans to add many updated features to their rapid transit such as level and multi-door boarding, enhanced waiting stations, signal priority and intersection control. These features will improve functionality and travel times of rapid transit.

Westland Area Commissioner Janet Cahill expressed concern that LinkUS would not extend far enough into the westside of Columbus.

“How can you direct us to effectively get LinkUS to serve the Columbus population beyond Prairie Township?” asked Cahill.

Sunderland said they are reviewing service areas.

“We want to look at that and make sure the end of the line is in the right location,” said Sunderland.

Sunderland told commissioners that the city of Columbus or COTA would need to own the property where they will end the transit line. They require approximately an acre of land and are open to suggestions of properties that would work well for their purposes.

In other news, the recreation and parks committee submitted the list of items to the city of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, as well as the Parks and Recreation Capital and Strategic Planning Team that was requested at a November meeting.

The committee put together a list of all of the repairs and upgrades needed for the current four city parks in the Westland area, along with a list of programs that they would like to include in a Westland Recreation Center. The committee is hoping to have more details in the coming months.

Melissa Green, with the department of neighborhoods for the city, encouraged the commissioners to look into purchasing a video camera with some of their commission funding to provide a hybrid option for online participation in the meetings. Although the commissioners would still attend the meetings in person, it would give an outlet for residents to be able to attend the meeting virtually.

Commissioners said that they would discuss it.

“Better to have it and not need it, rather than need it and not have it,” said commissioner Mike McKay.

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