City seeks grant for sidewalks near school campus

by Mike Lesko | reporter Published:

Streetsboro -- More sidewalks is "something that people in city have asked for," said Mayor Glenn Broska, and the city is continuing to move toward fulfilling that request.

"Initially, we put $100,000 into the capital improvement fund for sidewalks last year," he said. "But we found out the money really wouldn't go that far."

City officials then learned about the possibility of obtaining up to $500,000 from a Safe Routes to School state grant, which the city has applied for this year. The project is handled by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

"Sidewalks will remain a focus of ours," Broska said. "We will definitely try to get more sidewalks into the community."

Bruce Terrell, the city's engineering director, said the sidewalks would run from Mt. Vernon Drive east along Route 303 to Annalane Drive, which would include the school campus.

Broska said in that area, there are "narrow berms where kids don't have enough room to walk," Broska said.

"It scares me every time I see kids on Route 303 going to school," Broska said. "When you put in sidewalks, it changes the whole dynamic of the area. We need to have sidewalks in that area. We want to get kids off the streets to put them on the sidewalks where they are much safer."

Terrell said the city hopes to do roads including Briar, Root and St. Nicholas drives and Page Road.

"We want to do as much as we can to make it safe for the kids to get to school," Terrell said.

Another reason, Broska said, is "to make our community more walkable so people can go from their homes to shopping areas."

Broska said he is confident the city will receive the grant. If that happens, the city will not be required to contribute any money, he said.

Terrell said the city hopes to learn whether the city will receive the grant in March.

"We're hoping to install some this summer," Terrell said. "It will all depend on ODOT and their requirements."

He said ODOT will undertake a detailed study of the area for which the grant is requested.

"Once we provide them with all the information, they plug everything into their system," he said. "They basically do an audit. They'll sit and watch kids as they come out of school and see where they walk."

Terrell said ODOT officials would also walk the potential route themselves to evaluate the need for sidewalks.

Broska also wants to put in other sidewalks, "especially around the main corridors at routes 43, 14 and 303."

He said money for those sidewalks will be included in the capital improvement items in the budget.

"It is something we want to do, need to do and will do, but it will be a slower pace because of the cost [to the city]," he said.

Email: mlesko@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9439

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