Warren officials on track to write policy for city street improvements


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By ED RUNYAN

runyan@vindy.com

WARREN

After a workshop two weeks ago in which residents learned about the Complete Streets program of improving streets for all modes of travel, officials will now write a policy.

Jenna Amerine, health educator for the Trumbull County Combined Health District, released a follow-up report on on some of the issues people raised at the workshop.

Among them are locations on a city map where people thought getting from one place to another could be improved. One is a part of Elm Road at Paige Avenue Northeast where the Western Reserve Greenway bike and hike trail crosses.

One person leaving comments said there should be more signage to alert people that pedestrians and bicyclists are likely to be crossing Elm Road.

Sometimes improving such intersections is just a matter of painting markings on the road, such as shared-lane arrows, known as “sharrows,” Amerine said.

Sharrows remind motorists and bicyclists where bicyclists should generally ride when sharing a standard travel lane with other traffic.

Not far away is the Elm Road entrance to Warren G. Harding High School, and there should be crosswalks there to help students crossing Elm Road to get to school, the community member said.

Another person commented that the intersection of the Northwest Bridge at Mahoning Avenue Northwest needs a crosswalk for pedestrians and bicyclists traveling to the Giant Eagle supermarket from a nearby residential neighborhood full of apartments.

Amerine said the policy will be written in coordination with Warren City Council members, the city administration and the city engineering department.

She said having a Complete Streets policy can guide the city in making useful changes the next time a road is resurfaced.

The real-estate company Redfin, which releases annual walkability scores, lists Warren as 48th best city or township in Ohio for walkability out of 114 communities, just below Youngstown, but ahead of Niles, Boardman and Austintown.

Among the top places in Ohio for walkability are Lakewood, Cleveland, Athens, Cincinnati, Sandusky, Canton, Toledo and Dayton.

A successful Complete Streets policy can have a positive economic-development effect, Amerine said.

Redfin has found that improved walking and biking scores can increase home values, she said.

“Complete Streets allow people to stroll, linger, shop, dine, socialize – all adding to the local economy,” she said.

Warren is among the top third of 78 communities listed for bikeability, ahead of Boardman, Youngstown and Austintown.

The top communities in Ohio for biking are Athens, Lakewood, Bowling Green, Cleveland, Columbus, Kent and Sandusky.

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