Youngstown roads to undergo changes

The city of Youngstown has employed MS Consultants — an architecture, engineering and planning firm — to create the Youngstown State University Campus Road Study Project.

The project, paid for by a $1.9 million grant provided by U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, has two main priorities: to create a safer environment for pedestrians and to make roads more efficient.

Overall, 30 parking spaces are to be removed, some of which are either metered or for 20-minute loading and unloading.

Valerie Croasmun, the project manager for MS Consultants, said the study has been in development for about two years, but the first draft will be submitted to the city early in the second week of October.

From there, city officials and MS Consultants will discuss the draft and will likely finalize a plan by the end of October. The city will then begin to carry out the plan in several different stages. Croasmun said Lincoln, Fifth, Wick and Rayen avenues will be affected.

The firm also has recommendations for beautifying sidewalks, removing parking, adding temporary and permanent crosswalks, and changing turning lanes to make traffic flow better. Croasmun said the plan is “to remove parking on the North Side and, also as part of a Plan B, improving sidewalks and landscaping.”

Some students are unconvinced that changes to Lincoln Avenue are necessary.

Lauren Summer, a junior majoring in accounting, said she doesn’t think that removing parking will help make the road any safer.

“I’ve never really had problems,” she said. “I’ve never felt unsafe.”

She also said she feels the spaces are useful for students who have to commute.

Although nothing is final, YSU has begun preparing for the changes to Lincoln Avenue. Danny O’Connell, director of support services, said he is also looking at how the changes will affect parking availability and the shuttle system.

“We’re gearing up because I believe it is going to happen,” he said.