A lot has changed since the 1980s.
That’s when the stretch of High Street directly north of Downtown Columbus began to take root as a bourgeoning destination for local artists and entrepreneurs. Momentum in the time since has driven progress and the community has blossomed into a creative, bustling neighborhood that attracts visitors from around the world.
Now, an area that was once a car-focused hub has transitioned to a vibrant, people-focused scene. On any given day, an array of shops, salons, galleries and restaurants receive droves of residents and visitors, and most any night you’ll find these same spots bursting with energy as people pop in for a drink, stop by to check out the newest eats, or take in art exhibits and live performances.
As we move from the age of boom boxes to Bluetooth, it’s time for a facelift. Through the High Street Streetscape Improvements Project, Vine St. to 9th Ave, the charm, energy and versatility that has made the walkable High Street corridor – from the Convention Center through the Short North Arts District to the south end of the University District – what it is today, is being preserved.
This project creates a safer, more walkable and even more inclusive neighborhood.
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The top priority of the Streetscape Improvements project is safety. This will be accomplished with wider sidewalks, more clearly marked roadway lanes and upgrades to street lighting and signage.
Currently, walkways have a combination of concrete, brick and specialty pavers in use with inconsistent layouts that vary greatly in age and condition. Existing tree roots cause concrete heaving in many locations. Existing sidewalks are crowded and cluttered in many places due to limited space for light and utility poles, parking meters, street signs and other street furnishings.
The High Street Streetscape Improvements will declutter the area, making it safer and more comfortable for walking and outdoor dining.
Narrow, uneven surfaces in some areas make moving around difficult for those with mobility impairments, especially at curbs. To maintain the open, welcoming spirit of this area, provisions for public art and added accessibility for public transit are integral components of the project.