POLAND Plans stumble for a walking path along Yellow Creek

POLAND -- Plans for the proposed walking path along Yellow Creek here have hit a few roadblocks, and some say the problems are too great to continue with the project as envisioned.
The path has met opposition in the last several months from residents who do not want it to run through the woods close to their homes.
Members of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Enhancement Act committee have been reviewing plans to create a walking path. It would run from the village and township border, through the woods, along Yellow Creek, and end at Walker Mill Road.
Early this week council passed a motion to spend up to $1,000 for the services of John A. Sybrant & amp; Associates Landscape Architects of Austintown to check the feasibility of coordinating the path under the state Route 170 bridge and around the Poland branch of the Mahoning County libraries. The library is in the final stages of renovation.
Proposed route: ISTEA members intend for the path to run along the east side of the library and under the Route 170 and U.S. Route 224 bridges. Those specifications, said Sybrant, may pose a problem in designing the path.
"I don't think this is possible, but we are going to take a look at it once the [library's] parking lot is laid out and really check the feasibility of staying alongside the creek," said Sybrant.
Sybrant said there would need to be a retaining wall on that side of the building in order to prevent runoff from the path from flowing into the creek. There would also need to be a barrier fence put in place at an estimated cost of $20,000 he said.
Sybrant is still looking into the situation, but said the 6-foot-wide path may also conflict with the parking lot being installed by the library. At this point Sybrant does not think there will be room enough for the parking lot, path and a retaining wall without moving over into space now occupied by the creek.
Taking the path under the Route 170 bridge may also pose a problem, said Sybrant. He said a large sewer pipe that runs under the bridge takes up most of the space, leaving no room for the path.
Alternative route: Sybrant said the path would have to be taken up to street level at the bridge. Walkers would have to walk about two blocks up Route 170 to the nearest red light, cross over and walk back down to rejoin the path on the opposite side of the bridge.
He suggested the path be rerouted to avoid design problems in the vicinity of the bridge and library.
ISTEA members, however, are adamant about the path running under the bridge and alongside the creek. Joe Mazur, ISTEA committee, said any impediments to the path running under the bridge and beside the creek can be ironed out.
In response to the space problem below the bridge, Mazur said the path could possibly be dropped down a few feet to allow for more room. He said keeping the path along the creek is a matter of aesthetics and safety.
"It seems to me that that is the safest way to go," he said. "Kids are not likely to watch for traffic on the street. They tend to dart out into traffic and jaywalk."

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