Here’s the thing about February weather in central Ohio: it not only sucks, but you really can’t dress for it.
The weather is just too unpredictable, and variable. You leave your house in the morning and it’s reasonably warm, which means you can’t wear your heavy winter overcoat because you’ll just get too damned hot on your way in to work. But while you’re at the office the temperature plummets, the winds kick up, and by the time you’re walking home in the dark in that by now too-light raincoat, snow flurries are being blustered about by a brisk wind, the chill factor is down in the teens, and your face is raw and red against the cold. That’s exactly what happened today.
Of course, the reverse is true, too. Last week we had a day where the morning started out cold, but as the day progressed the temperature rose about 30 degrees, and then it started raining. So what do you do? Dress for the rainy weather, and freeze your keister off in the morning? Or, bundle up in the morning, only to lug around soggy, overheated outer garments that night?
There’s a reason the snowbirds leave Ohio in February. The weather here just blows. And rains. And snows. And just about everything else you can think of.
Recently Kish and I went to a show at the Riffe Center, across the street from the Ohio Statehouse. We noticed a new Central Ohio Transit Authority sign, for “CMAX” as well as our old favorite, the CBUS.
It’s a new concept for COTA — a rapid transit bus line. The CMAX will make fewer stops, at major destinations on the most congested bus lines, with the goal of reducing travel time, reducing congestion, and creating better conditions for pedestrians. And, from the COTA website linked above, it looks like the ultimate plan is for the CMAX to include improved technology — like, perhaps, wireless options on buses. The Bus-Riding Conservative has long held that offering wireless could be the key to making riding buses really attractive to the Gen Xers, who he thinks would happily choose an option that would allow them to check out all of their social media contacts while they are commuting.
The first CMAX line will run along Cleveland Avenue, connecting downtown to Polaris Parkway — a route that COTA estimates serves more than 220,000 residents and 170,000 workers. The sign at High and State is for one of the stops at the downtown end of the route.
I have to give COTA credit — with the CBUS, the Airconnect bus that links the airport and downtown hotels, and now CMAX, our local transit agency is making a good effort to redefine “the bus” and provide service that is more targeted to what the community really needs. Here’s hoping that CMAX is another success story.