The city of Columbus amended a plan that initially called for the elimination of all parking spaces on one side of Indianola Avenue in Clintonville to create a bicycle shed after receiving pushbacks from contractors.
The plan now is still to remove much of the parking along Indianola’s east side between East Arcadia and Oakland Park avenues to make way for bike paths on both sides of the road.
But in the wake of objections from Indianola entrepreneurs who feared that the parking clearance would hurt their profits, the city recently decided to keep parking on both sides of Indianola along a three-block stretch of the road where most of the commercial activities that would be affected by the changes are found.
What will happen now with the Indianola cycle path?
The two-way left-turn lane between Weber and Midgard Streets will be removed, preserving 48 parking spaces on either side of the main drag that runs parallel to I-71. The city also plans to designate ADA accessible parking spaces, loading bay spaces and bicycle parking spaces in that corridor.
The original plan would reduce the number of parking spaces on Indianola between Weber and Midgard streets from 60 to 30, all of which would be on the west side of the road.
“Losing 12 points is doable,” said David Lewis, who owns Elizabeth’s Records along with Indianola. “I think we will lose it in some areas and regain it in others. I am happy that they have found a compromise.
“We definitely want the neighborhood to be bicycle-friendly. We have a lot of bicycle traffic here,” he added. “So we support the safety aspects. We were just worried that they would take away all the parking.”
Justin Goodwin, a transportation planner for the city of Columbus, said the Indianola business owners requested that the plan be revised to maintain parking spaces on both sides of Indianola.
“Eventually, the Clintonville Area Commission held a couple of hearings on this, overheard by people in the neighborhood who were also interested in maintaining the connectivity of bike paths through this area,” Goodwin said. “The area commission asked the Department of Public Service to look at alternative configurations in this section to see if we could find a compromise.”
Eric Brembeck, owner of Studio 35 Cinema and Drafthouse, was one of two Indianola entrepreneurs who led an effort to collect and deliver to Columbus City Hall the signatures of those who opposed the city’s initial plan to eliminate all parking lots along the east side of Indianola. Brembeck, who was not immediately contacted for comment on Tuesday, previously told The Dispatch that more than 2,270 signatures have been collected.
Cycling advocates also wrote a letter to the city earlier this year, expressing their support for the continuous cycle paths along Indianola from East Hudson Street to East North Broadway.
Under the revised plan, the elimination of parking lots along the east side of Indianola between Hudson and East North Broadway to create space for bike lanes will reduce the number of parking spaces from 299 to 126. The previous plan was for the number to be 108.
In addition to adding cycle paths along the one-mile stretch, the city said it plans to add “high-visibility” crosswalks to Cliffside Drive, Crestview Road, Milford Avenue, Walhalla Road and all marked Hudson and Oakland Park intersections. .
The changes will take place in 2024 and are part of the “Vision Zero” effort, an initiative launched in March 2020 by Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther that aims to reduce traffic and pedestrian deaths and serious injuries to zero by 2035.
According to Goodwin, installing bike lanes on both sides of Indianola will create seven continuous miles of bicycle infrastructure from Downtown to Morse Road.
A planned northbound cycle path between Hudson and Arcadia will connect to an existing cycle path Hudson, and an existing bike lane on Arcadia will connect Indianola’s bike lanes to the Summit Street bike lane, Goodwin said. The planned cycle paths will continue north on Arcadia to Oakland Park.
Monroe Trombly covers the latest news and trends.