Members of the Clintonville Area Commission are looking forward to 2014 as a period when initiatives already in the works will bear fruit.
Randy Ketcham, the District 6 representative, has two specific projects in mind he'd like to expedite this year.
They involve efforts by a new organization to acquire the site of a former White Castle at the southern entrance to the neighborhood as part of an overall goal of creating a walking path from Glen Echo Park to the Olentangy River; and work by the commission's planning and development committee to come up with a way of enhancing mobility.
In an email, Ketcham mentioned that a proposal, since withdrawn, to locate a car wash on the former North High Street site of White Castle "galvanized environmental groups to join forces and create a new organization, Coalition United for Glen Echo Ravine.
"Its goal is to create a walking path from Glen Echo Park to the Olentangy River," he said. "Although this will require developing tremendous financial assets over a period of time, I think it's important that substantial progress be made in 2014 to help assure the long-term viability of this effort. I am still concerned that the White Castle property could be purchased for a use consistent with its C4 zoning, and if no variances are required, which is possible, but perhaps unlikely, the CAC would have no control over the situation."
District 8 representative Kristopher Keller said he also is excited about potential development of the ravine.
"I look forward to the work that is being in done in regard to building a coalition and support for enhancing and expanding the Glen Echo Ravine area for hiking, bird watching and as a refuge for wildlife and migratory birds," he said in an email.
Keller also said after a year of rapid development, more new businesses should sprout up in the new year.
"In 2014, look forward to further development of the business corridors of High Street and Indianola (Avenue) with the recovering national and local economies continuing to heat up and the movement toward support of local businesses continuing to grow," he said.
Keller said he's hoping for a crime-free year in the neighborhood.
"Clintonville has an enviable reputation in the city for low crime and public safety," he said. "I look forward to greater interaction between the division of police and the local Block Watch and other groups as they work together to make Clintonville an even safer and more attractive place to live, work and raise families."
Ketcham said it's important that the work of the CAC's planning and development committee lead to the adoption of recommendations to enhance mobility in the area.
"This is a special concern because so many people in Clintonville not only drive but also walk and use bicycles," he said. "It's important that these modes of transportation safely co-exist."
Ketcham also said, as a member of a local service organization, he would like it if community members found the time to join him.
"The ones with which I'm familiar -- the Clintonville Rotary, Kiwanis Club of Northern Columbus and the North Columbus Civitan -- would all welcome new members," he said. "These clubs sponsor activities which help make Clintonville so special."
The turn lane from westbound North Broadway to southbound High Street, finally constructed in 2013 after years of controversy, should bring change this year as well, Ketcham said.
"I hope that the completion of the left-turn lane ... will spur appropriate commercial development of the southwest corner of that intersection," he said.