• Location: Columbus, Ohio

Burgess & Niple (B&N) led a comprehensive effort to examine and implement multimodal transportation enhancements in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The Downtown Action Plan included implementation of transportation system changes that will help transform Columbus’ downtown into a more livable and vibrant place while contributing to the City’s economic growth.

The Downtown Action Plan focused on applying traffic recommendations presented in the 2010 Downtown Columbus Strategic Plan that emphasize non-motorized transportation and making the streets of downtown more livable. The street changes encourage more bicycle and pedestrian trips, reduced automobile use and an improved environment for living, working, and playing downtown.

The nearly $2.5 million Downtown Action Plan included evaluation of a wide range of issues related to bicycling, walking, bus ridership and parking in the downtown area. The process and technical analysis used to explore the issues included:

  • Advanced traffic forecast modeling that integrates the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) regional transportation model and a B&N-developed microscopic simulation network (VISUM &VISSIM) to produce peak hour traffic assignments and to evaluate traffic shifts due to changes in the network
  • A highly engaging stakeholder involvement process
  • Technical evaluations of multimodal improvement concepts
  • Microsimulation analysis to evaluate the potential impacts of street changes on bus operations
  • Preliminary engineering to ensure feasibility and evaluate the impact of concepts

B&N developed and evaluated concepts such as shared bus-bike lanes, cycle tracks, bike boxes, colored pavement bike lanes and shared-lane markings (sharrows). The project also included the development of a process and scope of services for creation of a citywide multimodal transportation plan. This involved interviews with more than 40 stakeholders and research into the state of the practice in citywide transportation planning.

One of the primary goals of this overall effort is to evaluate and illustrate potential options and identify the associated tradeoffs. The options included:

  • One-way versus two-way streets
  • On-street bikeways
  • On-street parking
  • Sidewalk widths
  • Lane widths
  • Bus operations

B&N collaborated with city staff and the Mayor’s office to develop and finalize preferred solutions.

B&N helped the City advance the implementation of and/or create final designs for:

  • Parking meters and bike route treatments on High Street
  • Conversion of Front and Marconi Streets to two-way traffic with street beautification improvements
  • Buffered bike lanes, pedestrian improvements and curb “bump-outs” on Third and Fourth streets
  • Bike lanes on Spring and Long streets
  • “Green” bike lanes on the Broad Street Bridge over the Scioto River
  • Lifting of peak-hour parking restrictions in numerous locations
  • A redesigned Broad Street corridor
  • Lifting peak hour parking restrictions in numerous locations in downtown

B&N engineers analyzed and designed a variety of multimodal street and corridor enhancements for the City of Columbus as part of the Downtown Action Plan. The project was completed in 2015.