As construction on High Street has presented itself as a disruption for Columbus businesses and patrons, The Short North Alliance has found a way to turn an inconvenience into a party.
On Sunday, the Short North Alliance, a local nonprofit organization that advocates for the success and improvement of the Short North Arts District property and business owners, held the Short North Traffic Jam from noon to 4 p.m. in the Short North Arts District to celebrate the removal of a crane from a construction site on N. High Street.
“When the Short North Alliance learned of the crane removal for this week, we worked quickly to engage our partners and regular performers in a fun way for Traffic Jam,” Short North Alliance Executive Director, Betsy Pandora said in an email. “We are looking forward to having patrons of the district enjoy music and ice cream as a thank you for supporting businesses during the small inconvenience.”
Short North Traffic Jam featured performances from Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Modern Dance, Chris + Rose, Katanya Ingram and Flowhio Breaks.
Local vendors also found ways to engage in the event. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in the Short North offered a deal on ice cream for customers and three garages in the area were free for visitors to park in.
While events such as Short North Traffic Jam encouraged Columbus residents to support businesses in the Short North, local shop owners, such as Big Fun Columbus owner Jason Williams, are still concerned about how High Street construction will affect their businesses, particularly parking.
“It’s already tricky enough to find parking spaces down here, and you have a lot of construction vehicles eating up those parking spots, which primarily would be customers,” Williams said. “I think it’s hurt a lot of businesses, and it has probably hurt us in ways we will find out.”
The crane removal closed High Street between Buttles Avenue and East Lincoln Street in both directions from Sunday to Tuesday.