Saturday, January 10, 2009

Everything Old Is New Again

Blogroll Me!

Several months ago I wrote about the desire for streetcars in Columbus Ohio.
And when I reviewed the book Historic Photos of Columbus I may have mentioned old photographs of Columbus when it had both arches and streetcars. My only criticism about the plan was that I thought it was too small.

I was delighted last night to hear a story about Mayor Mike Coleman asking President Elect Obama for the money to build a Light Rail line in Columbus. I was further thrilled to hear that they want to make it 13 miles long instead of the original 2.8 miles.

All the great cities of the world have rail systems and I believe that this idea will employ thousands of Americans who have lost their jobs due to the recent economic downturn. Hooray for Mayor Mike. I think he is gonna get his train after all! And if he does I believe City Center Mall will come back to life as well.

I confess that I too have been visualizing trains for Columbus. James Kunstler has been warning us all that we need to get our railroad system back up and running. I grew up in a small town that at one time had a bus system but no longer does. The people of the town claim that it didn't work, so it won't work in the future even though the population is growing by the year and there are far too many cars on the road! Transportation is vital to a growing town or city. At one time Columbus had a very vital and successful rail system and streetcars ran up and down High Street. They tore it up to accommodate the age of the automobile and cheap oil. When you look at the old photographs with tracks running under the arches you can clearly see that we are repeating history to a certain extent.

It is time to start visualizing what Columbus is going to look like in 2012. My friend the mural painter Bonie Bolen painted the Columbus skyline in her mural for the show Round Trip Home. That is probably what it will look like. Thanks Bonie for giving us the image we can meditate upon, and thanks Mayor Mike for asking for the dollars to build it. For more information check out this link.

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