By Dan Genaro
The newly renovated Wick Avenue features three lanes for better traffic flow, newly designed crosswalks with Youngstown State University’s emblem and new light fixtures.
After over a year of renovations, the YSU community welcomes the innovative and aesthetically pleasing finished roads.
Students and faculty were inconvenienced during the construction to Lincoln, Wick and Fifth Avenues. The reopening of the main roads – Lincoln at the beginning of the semester and Wick last week – marked an end to the setbacks of being late to class, finding alternative parking and walking longer distances around the construction.
Sean Zekkour, a sophomore majoring in social studies and education, said the construction was a problem for him at the beginning of the semester due to a torn ACL injury he suffered earlier in the year.
“A lot of times [parking] lots were full, and I’d have to park over behind the Watts Center and walk across campus,” Zekkour said. “That was a long walk for me with the bad knee.”
Two other sophomores, Tiffany Gaydosh, a biology major, and Luciano Romeo, a business administration major, said the construction to Wick Avenue caused major traffic congestion at times and resulted in students parking primarily on one side of campus.
“It’s made me late for class a couple times,” Gaydosh said. “I learned now that I have to leave early, especially if you have an 8 a.m. class because traffic gets so backed up that there’s no way to get where you need to go.”
Romeo said getting around on campus was more difficult with the roads being closed in addition to problems with parking.
“The construction overloaded parking on one side of campus,” Romeo said. “You couldn’t even drive to get parking on other parts of campus because so many roads were closed.”
Sophomore marketing major Mario Pishotti said the construction was no only inconvenient but also costly for him.
“Last school year, I got two flat tires from construction nails while driving on streets next to those being worked on,” Pishotti said.
Pishotti, and junior pre-nursing major Preston Caparanis, said their routes to campus became more complex due to the closed roads.
“Wick made it hard to navigate campus sometimes, especially when they only allowed us students to cross the road at certain points,” Caparanis said. “It made my route more difficult getting to the parking deck while driving.”
Pishotti said this problem became detrimental to his education.
“The traffic would occasionally back up behind the Wick [parking] deck because the front entrance was closed,” Pishotti said. “I was late to multiple classes.”
Located on Wick Avenue is Meshel Hall, where Kriss Schueller, computer science instructor, teaches.
Schueller said the construction had minimal impact on him because he uses the garage and walks to the building. However, he said having to access the garage from the opposite entrance was a minor irritant although not necessarily significant.
“The road was in horrible shape before the renovations, so I believe this construction was needed,” Schueller said.
Schueller said before the construction the road was not wide enough.
“Wick Avenue was originally four lanes, which caused a lot of traffic problems because the road is not wide enough for four lanes,” Schueller said.
Wick Avenue reopened Oct. 27, becoming two of the three completed construction projects to vital roads at YSU.