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New transportation plan hopes to revolutionize transportation in NW Columbus

614now Staff



A newly-announced study hopes to help the city’s Northwest Corridor solve transportation issues that come along with Central Ohio’s rapidly-expanding population.

The Northwest Corridor Mobility Study will be the first of several plans of its kind. The goal of these plans is to identify and carry out the best strategies to efficiently and safely connect residents to employment, education, affordable housing, and healthcare, per a release from the City of Columbus.

Central Ohio is expected to gain up to 1 million additional residents by 2050. In order to accommodate this growth, transportation planning will rely less on cars and include strategies for high capacity transit, enhanced bicycle and pedestrian connectivity, and new technology.

“To remain America’s Opportunity City, Columbus must innovate mobility options for residents that improve access to jobs, education, and healthcare,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther in a statement. “We must meet transportation challenges and promote a major shift in how we move people faster and more efficiently as the region prepares for tremendous population growth. The Northwest Corridor Mobility Study creates an action plan to help tackle equity issues and the growing housing affordability needs of our residents in preparation for this growth.”


City Council will consider legislation to authorize a professional services contract with Kimley-Horn and Associates for the Mobility Study – Northwest Corridor project and to enter into agreements with partners including the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Central Ohio Transit Authority, and The Ohio State University.

“The question is no longer will Columbus grow. It’s how we’re going to grow. We know that focusing jobs and housing near affordable transportation choices is a recipe for success,” said Council President Shannon G. Hardin in a statement. “The Northwest Corridor will take innovative solutions. But this vision to connect jobs, housing, and transportation isn’t confined to one route. I look forward to engaging with partners and the community to analyze and identify future corridors.”

Several factors were weighed in launching the 18-month corridor concept initiative with the Northwest Corridor Mobility Study, which covers an area from Bethel Road to the north and West Broad Street to the south and will focus on Olentangy River Road, the surrounding transportation network, and development opportunities in the area.

The Northwest Corridor presents high potential job growth; links to major institutions and employers such as OSU and OhioHealth; and presents some of the most complex challenges for mobility design and engineering such as physical barriers and “traffic knots” resulting from factors such as the arrangement of freeway interchanges and underpasses.

By tackling the challenges presented in the Northwest Corridor first, planners hope to create a model for other upcoming Insight2050 corridor efforts.

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Columbus man shares sexual assault allegations against OSU doctor on NBC News

614now Staff



As sexual assault accusations continue to mount in the case against an Ohio State University sports doctor, one alleged victim shared his story on a national platform.

NBC News recently published an interview with Stephen Snyder-Hill, a Columbus-native, LGBTQ activist, and military veteran who has accused Dr. Richard Strauss of sexually assaulting him as a student over two decades ago.

Dr. Richard Strauss, who died in 2005

Snyder-Hill told NBC after years of trying to suppress the memories of 1995, it all came flooding back when allegations first surfaced against Strauss last year.

Now, Snyder-Hill is among hundreds of men accusing Strauss of sexual abuse, and more than a dozen individuals seeking legal action against the university.

For more on Snyder-Hill's allegations against Strauss, visit

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Flying cars coming to Columbus? Local startup shows off drone-like vehicle

Mike Thomas



From the newly unveiled SmartLane to self-driving shuttles, Columbus is a leader in forward-thinking transit options. Now, it seems a local startup is poised to take your daily commute into the next century—and into the skies!

According to a report from CNBC, Columbus-based company the Workhorse Group showed off its SureFly Octocopter—a drone-like vehicle with room for two passengers—at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this week.

CNBC reports that functional prototypes of the craft are already taking flight as the Workhorse Group pursues certification approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Built almost entirely out of carbon fiber, the autonomous SureFly resembles popular commercial drones already on the market, only much larger. The man-sized drone is powered by a combination of electric motors, diesel, and/or jet fuel.

The Workhorse Group expects production of its vehicles to begin in less than two years and is already taking deposits. When available for sale, the craft is expected to cost around $200,000. For more information, visit the official Surefly website.

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Map: Local man thinks he has the answer to Ohio passenger rail

Regina Fox



Kevin Verhoff really doesn't like the idea of cars. He believes they're
"highly inefficient," they take up a "ton of space," and they cost a "lot of money," not to mention the "ridiculous amounts of money" Ohio shells out on highways every year.

Instead, Verhoff would like to see the Buckeye State use its resources to build a comprehensive rail network, which looks a little something like this:

"Is this crazy? Yes. Would it be awesome? Yes," wrote Verhoff.

Not only would this proposed network "use technology and processes which are currently available (unlike the hyperloop)," according to Verhoff, there's several more reasons to get onboard, literally:

  • It would serve 23 of Ohio’s 25 largest counties
  • With stops in 44 of Ohio’s counties, it would serve 9.6 Million residents (about 83% of Ohioans).
  • Cleveland to Columbus in about 2.5 hours.
  • Columbus to Cincy in 2 hours.
  • It could be part of a broader regional and national rail network that would connect Ohio to other major cities in the region, along with international connections in Canada.

Verhoff knew he couldn't get this train on the tracks, literally, without a projected cost. He estimates that in total, the 1,800-mile project would bear a $8.98 billion price tag ($5 million per mile), spread out over 20 years.

"That’s about a 10% increase in ODOT’s annual budget!" Verhoff added.

No doubt that's not a number to scoff at, but Verhoff believes the implication of passenger rail in Ohio would be much larger.

"Imagine someone being able to go from Sandusky to Cleveland for cancer treatments or a heart surgery, without having to pay $8000 per year to own a car," he wrote. "Businesses would start to look to Ohio as an innovative place that creates opportunities and links human capital together. More importantly, people would just have more options for getting around. It’s not that expensive, and it would be life-changing for a lot of Ohioans.

"It’s a crazy idea. But, it’s also a really good idea," Verhoff said.

To read more about Verhoff's master plan for passenger rail in Ohio, click here.

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