It isn't just about cars anymore.

It isn't just about cars anymore.

Although Columbus has long been a pretty auto-centric city, officials are in the process of developing a plan that would bring together all the various ways of getting about.

The process of crafting a "true multimodal thoroughfare plan," going under the far catchier title of Connect Columbus, will move forward during a four-day design workshop next week at the North Broadway United Methodist Church, 48 E. North Broadway in Clintonville.

The June 1-4 gathering will be the second workshop for Connect Columbus, and city officials are hoping for a better turnout than a previous four-day one in Columbus Downtown High School that concluded April 2 and drew only around 100 citizens.

"The workshops were not as heavily attended, but with Clintonville as aware as the residents are in that neighborhood, we expect there to be a good turnout," Rick Tilton, assistant director of the Department of Public Service, said last week.

"We're hoping this time in Clintonville, with a pretty active community, that we have a lot of participation," added Paul Moore, a principal with San Francisco-based NelsonNygaard Consulting Associates.

The design workshop in Clintonville is open to residents from throughout the city.

In addition to workshops, a Connect Columbus "plan van" has been stationed at gathering places such as the North Market to solicit citizen input.

An opening presentation to familiarize people with the goals of Connect Columbus is scheduled for 6 p.m. June 1, but an open work session for people to offer comments and suggestions on the city's transportation future will begin at 1 p.m.

The open work session June 2 runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The hours for June 3 will be 2 to 8 p.m. The June 4 open work session will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A closing presentation is scheduled for 6 that afternoon.

The purpose of Connect Columbus, according to the city's website, is "to improve safety, reduce congestion, assist children and the elderly, and promote economic development, fitness and environmental responsibility."

"The Multimodal Thoroughfare Plan will define the future of transportation in Columbus by providing the rules for alternative means of travel," the site continues. "A community that is more pedestrian-, bicycle- and transit-friendly is a more livable community."

"This is about changing a culture," Tilton said. "The important part of this is this is a long-range plan for our streets."

"When people don't see a specifically defined project right in front of them, it's a little harder to set aside time in your day to talk about things that are going to happen 20 years from now," Moore said. "It is important. This is how funding priorities get set. This is how major transit projects get started.

"We need these ideas to come from the community."

Those attending the workshop will see maps related to various aspects of transportation in Columbus, he added, and will have a chance to speak with members of the city staff as well as people from his firm. Moore said participants are welcome to drop in for five minutes or visit for an hour or more.

"We need input," Tilton said. "This is really important. Columbus is going to continue to grow. We need to plan for the future and we need to be smart about how we spend money. Even if they have a small idea, they need to come to one of these workshops or they need to find the plan van ... and give us the information.

"We want to see more than the typical faces we see at meetings."

Work on Connect Columbus began in October, according to the city's website.

The plan is to be completed and a final report issued in April.