Councilmember Shannon Hardin's Comments on Transportation
Good morning all:
I am Columbus City
Councilmember Shannon Hardin, and I am here on behalf of the City of Columbus
because I have the great and distinct privilege of serving as the chair of our
city’s Public Service and Transportation Committee.
As many of you know and as
you have heard from some of the speakers before me, our transportation
infrastructure is absolutely vital to our city. You, the people, are our life
blood, but our roads are the arteries and veins that carry you to and fro the
various parts of the region.
It’s hard to advocate on
behalf of our transportation infrastructure because maintaining it and keeping
the roads working isn’t really exciting, but as my staff and I can tell you
– when it doesn’t work, we hear about it.
That’s why we all need to
be advocates to our members of Congress! We need a sustainable, responsible,
long-term transportation bill to fund all aspects of transportation for
Columbus! Maintaining our roads and bridges, building sidewalks and curbs, and
finding new routes for public transportation and bikes. We cannot simply pass
extensions of an old bill. We need our Senators – Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman
– and our Congresswoman, Joyce Beatty, to be equipped to advocate on our
behalf! They need to know that transportation is important to Columbus and
important to keeping Columbus on the right track!
This is why I also need
each and every person here to participate in the City’s multi-modal thoroughfare
planning group known as Connect Columbus.
This is a long-range plan
where EVERYTHING is on the table. If you want to talk about light rail, we’ll
talk about light rail. If you want to talk about building sidewalks throughout
the ENTIRE city, we’ll talk about it. If you want to talk about protected bike
lanes, we’ll talk about it. COTA and MORPC are partners in Connect Columbus,
which means if we want to talk about changing bus lines, we’ll talk about it
and bring in COTA Next Gen. Anything and everything is on the table – but only
if YOU bring it up. Please visit Columbus.gov/connectcolumbus, take the survey,
and let us know what is important to you.
Columbus is a city of the
present and of the future, and we must prepare for that.
We need certainty in our
partnerships with the state and federal departments of transportation.
More importantly, however,
we need to hear from our residents. We need to know that standing up for
transportation is right and appropriate and necessary for this community.
Make sure your senators
and representatives know how you feel about transportation and public
transportation, and make sure we, at the City level, know what you want to see
for the future!
Thank you very much.