Sprawling and low density...
Sprawling and low density Columbus is definitely a car city. Happily, parking is relatively cheap and available (one of Columbus's major industries seems to be parking...) The worst traffic occurs during rush hour on the north side of town. Several construction projects are underway right now, the most noted being the re-construciton of the very useful I-670 connector between I-71 and 315, so going east to west, just north of downtown, is a bit more involved than it used to be. For those wanting to cross the north side of downtown, I'd take 5th ave. For those going east to west across the south side, Broad Stree, Main Street, and I-70 are all fine targets A site for Columbus Traffic Info The COTA bus sytem is useful for those who commute into downtown and abandon the heart of the city at 5:00, but, for the rest of us, it is a time-consuming mess. One execption,: if one lives or is staying within walking distance of High Street, bus transport is a good way to get a feel for a few of the more interesting parts of the city- the Short North, German Village and OSU. Take the Number 2 as far as it will go in either direction to get your bearings.
Due in part to the political efforts of Ohio Governor Bob Taft- (R), an avid bicyclist, Columbus is currently in the process of building a large system of bike trails, which, while fairly useless as commuter routes, nonetheless are worthwhile for the recreational rider. The most established is the Olentangy bikeway which runs from south of downtown (berliner park), all the way up to I-270 along the Olentangy river- with a few well-marked interruptions on minor side streets. The best part of the path runs north from the Whetstone Park of Roses, through a long series of tree-filled parks and riverside views. Antrim park with its half mile long resivior, is a popular spot for joggers and dog walkers. North of route 161, the path winds through the parks along back yards of residential Worthington. At the very northern end is a newly constructed skateboard Park.
A new north-south path, from Bexley's Jeffrey park, on up to Easton Shopping center, is currently under construction, and is due to be finished around 2005. The 'Heritage Trail' is another 'rail trail' that runs northeastward from Hilliard for 8 miles into farmlands. A ride down this path is a good way to get a look at what Ohio farms look like.