Sep 22, 2018 at 4:15 AM

Columbus has only modest success when it comes to reducing single-occupancy vehicles because we continue to make modest decisions. The words from previous Mayor Michael B. Coleman continue to echo in my ears, “If we remain status quo as a city, we’ll continue to be left behind.” We’re growing as city, but our transportation decisions are leapfrogging us into the past. We continue to induce demand for single-occupancy vehicles rather than truly testing if we can reduce our addiction to our cars.

The northwest widening of I-270 and the “Smart Lane” on I-670 East were two opportunities to introduce a carpool lane and reward those carpooling or busing. What do we do? Enable our addiction.

The Cpass bus program Downtown has the potential to be transformative, but I fear it will be added to the “modest” badge we wear so proudly. If you’ve sat in Downtown traffic like I have, then you’ve seen COTA buses jockeying in and out of and sitting in the same travel lanes we all share. Would sitting in the same traffic seduce you to ride the bus?

Why not experiment with dedicated bus lanes? How can we expect to truly change behavior if we never fully go all in?

Jessica Mathews, Columbus