The Critical Path

Our winning submission to the “Columbus Rewired” Competition looks at how to make public transportation work in the medium-density, poly-nucleated, postmodern city.


AIA Columbus

Project Team:

Tobias Armborst, Rebecca Beyer, Inger Christensen-Dalsgaard, Daniel D’Oca, Alec Schierenbeck, Georgeen Theodore

The Critical Path is Interboro’s submission to the Columbus Rewired International Ideas Competition, which asked entrants to initiate a dialogue about the current and future state of Columbus public transportation network in the context of its overall infrastructure. Interboro’s submission won first prize.

Interboro used the competition as an opportunity to think about public transportation in the poly-nucleated, postmodern city. We began with the premise that though there are a lot of good ideas about how to get citizens from a periphery to a center (and then around the center), there are fewer about how to get citizens around the many nodes between downtown and the small town.

At the heart of Interboro’s scheme is a remained right-of-way, a bold new “suburban connector” that leverages transit investments to create an exciting new public space. This new right-of-way, which can best be thought of as a hybridization of the Parkway, Main Street, and the Strip, is a two-way arterial that connects nodes along the many everyday commercial corridors of the city. A major component of this new right-of-way is The Fast Lane, which would occupy the center two lanes of the new Right-of-Way, and which would be dedicated to buses and high-occupancy vehicles. Other components of the new Right-of-Way include a “Plain Lane” for regular traffic, an “Avatarmac,” which would encourage the development of structures that front the Right-of-Way to create a public face in the form of a building, a kiosk, or simply a sign, and “The Swale,” which would accommodate landscape features, Main Street elements, and car-related programs.

Idealized existing and proposed transportation network for Columbus as a polycentric city.