Youngstown officials approve new smoking shelter for downtown workers


Published: Wed, June 6, 2018 @ 12:05 a.m.

By Graig Graziosi

ggraziosi@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The Youngstown Design Review Board unanimously approved a plan to install smoking shelters for employees at 20 Federal Place in a nearby parking lot.

Jennifer Jones, program coordinator at Green Youngstown, gave a presentation to the board Tuesday morning about the need for the shelter.

“We know people aren’t going to stop smoking. We’re just trying to get them to do it legally,” Jones said.

Jones is referring to employees of the tenants at 20 Federal Place in downtown Youngstown who smoke just outside the doors to the building.

A city ordinance prohibits people from smoking within 20 feet of building entrances.

Under Jones’ proposal, the shelter – an out-of-use bus shelter given to the city by the Western Reserve Transit Authority – will be placed in a city-maintained parking lot on the corner of Commerce and Phelps streets.

This would place the shelter directly across the street from 20 Federal Place’s north-facing entrance.

The shelter will take up a space in the parking lot adjacent to several handicap spots. Currently, cars illegally park in the spot where the future shelter will go, which makes the first handicap spot too narrow to be used by individuals with mobility issues.

The installation of the shelter will prevent cars from parking there without impeding the space meant to service individuals with disabilities.

In addition, the board gave Jones approval to install a second shelter in the parking lot should it be needed.

Jones also secured a $5,000 grant to install metal cigarette receptacles near the building’s entrance and near the shelters.

“Cigarette butts are really difficult to clean up. They look disgusting and are a turnoff to people when they’re entering a building,” she said.

Jones said Youngstown Cityscape has agreed to maintain the receptacles as part of its downtown beautification efforts.

The project is expected to begin in early July.


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