When is a moratorium not really a moratorium? When the agency that is supposed to uphold the decision bends the rules.
That's what the Columbus Transportation and Pedestrian Commission was faced with last week.
The Columbus City Council imposed a one-year moratorium on establishing new permit parking in the Short North, but a handful of areas submitted petitions to do just that before the ban was in place. Last Tuesday, the commission had to decide whether it would bend the new rules for an apartment complex that says its tenants have been displaced by another permit area that was approved this year.
Residents of the 64-unit Greystone Court apartment complex at 815 N. High St. wanted to be added to a permit area on nearby W. Hubbard Avenue, but the city argued that the building is not adjacent to the zone and, therefore, couldn't be added. The building has its own 42-space parking lot, though it does not require a permit.
The commission decided not to break its new moratorium and instead said it will free up 18 spaces on Hubbard that are currently set aside for permit holders. Residents said the change wouldn't help because Short North visitors will snatch up those spaces.
"It feels like I am not being welcomed in our own community when I come home and am circling the block looking for parking," resident Joanna Hammer told the commission.
High-speed rail line gets look
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission plans to look at a $1.3 billion proposed high-speed rail line between Chicago and Columbus.
Rail advocates said over the summer that a 300-mile line between the two cities could create nearly 27,000 full-time jobs and $700 million in household income, but local officials want to see what it could mean for central Ohio.
MORPC plans to talk to local businesses and political leaders to see if there's enough support to throw the region's weight behind the project.
In short, MORPC transportation director Bob Lawler said it would try to answer the question: "Is this something central Ohio should invest its time and money in?"
Under the proposal outlined by the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association, rail cars would run as fast as 130 mph to travel between Columbus and Chicago in less than four hours. No funding has been identified for the line's construction and equipment costs, but proposals called for it to be done in 2020.
Watch for deer
The Ohio Insurance Institute is warning drivers to watch out for deer during the next few months, when the animals enter their peak mating season.
So far this year, the Ohio Department of Public Safety has recorded 8,787 vehicle crashes with deer. In all of last year, 20,996 crashes were reported, down 7.5 percent from 22,696 in 2011, according to the institute.
Drivers should keep their eyes peeled for deer mostly at dusk and dawn, the institute said in a news release. The busiest hours are from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. and between 5 and 8 a.m.
Last year, 77 percent of deer crashes occurred during those times.
Copyright 2013 - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio