The Kent State University Area Citizens Advisory Committee. How’s that for a mouthful — and it’s acronym KSUACAC, isn’t any better. But don’t judge a book by its cover, this has been a productive bunch that have tackled some challenging transportation issues from a mutually inclusive town/gown point of view. How can we improve Summit Street traffic but preserve the sense of neighborhood? Ask the KSUACAC. Want to talk multi-modal? Ask the KSUACAC. So now that the City staff wants to update folks on these projects and get some feedback on transportation issues, including downtown/campus connectivity and redevelopment — guess who we’re going to call? You got it — KSUACAC to the rescue. And the best part is the KSUACAC meetings are all open to the public so if you’re interested to participate in a little dialogue with your neighbors pull up a chair on Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 at 6:30p.m. in the basement of the Kent Fire Department building located at 320 South DePeyster Street.
The City of Kent is hosting a meeting of the Kent State University Area Citizens Advisory Committee the evening of May 26th, 2009 to update the Committee Members on ongoing transportation related projects.
The meeting will be held Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 at 6:30p.m. The location of the meeting will be the Kent Fire Department, Basement Training Room, at 320 South DePeyster Street, Kent, Ohio 44240. The public is invited to attend this meeting.
Parking is available on the Day Street side of the Fire Station or the back parking lot behind the Fire Station.
Questions regarding the meeting should be directed to the City of Kent, Department of Public Service, 330-678-8105, Mr. Eugene K. Roberts, Service Director.
MultiModal Center Purpose and Needs Statement (authored by the KSUACAC)
The City of Kent and Kent State University have expressed the desire to enhance physical connections between downtown Kent and the University. Establishing a high-density multimodal facility can both capture traffic at primary roads and arterial system (Haymaker Parkway) and transfer vehicle occupants to pedestrian, bicycle and transit systems connecting downtown Kent, the University and Northeast Ohio. The western area of campus is seeing renewed academic activities, cultural activities and special events.
Consideration should be given throughout the design and construction of this project to move people seamlessly through the system between the campus and the community. We visualize this facility to be a transfer station, encouraging people to change from personal vehicles to another form of transportation. The facility should act as both an arrival point for and a portal to the City and University. We see the possibility of such a facility encouraging people to patronize nearby private businesses, encouraging more business development around campus and into downtown Kent. We see that this facility could serve as a meeting place or destination in itself for classrooms, art events, and a welcome center for both the campus and the city. The facility can be a connector for both community and university. As such, it must be designed as a vital civic space.
Consideration should be given throughout the design and construction of this project to minimize the possible negative impacts and accentuate the positive impacts the project may have on surrounding neighborhoods and business interests. It must build upon the transportation planning and other principles used in the Crain Avenue Bridge Project Purpose and Needs Statement, the Terrace Area Parking Purpose and Needs Statement, the Bicentennial Comprehensive Plan and other City/Campus Projects as they evolve. Further, the development of the multimodal facility needs to be integrated with improvements to Summit Street, and other City Transportation Projects.
The project activity consists of:
A. Locating the facility to optimize University, City, Business, PARTA and user needs.
B. Encouraging economic development opportunities (e.g. welcome center, hotel, conference center, etc.) and enhancing Main Street as a connection between Kent State University and downtown Kent.
C. Designing a facility and associated components to meet the purposes and variety of the objectives listed below.
1. Design a facility where all modes of transportation connect (transit, bicycle, pedestrian systems), thereby encouraging pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
2. The facility should be designed to assure safety and security.
3. The facility should integrate with the City’s intelligent traffic planning
4. The facility should take advantage of the topography.
5. The facility should be an attractive, unique facility integrating development opportunities (e.g. housing, office, etc.) along its frontage. It should be in tune with its surroundings, scaled accordingly and represent Kent’s historical architecture.
6. The facility should be designed to create/enhance multiple convenient connections between downtown Kent and Kent State University.
7. The facility should be designed to accommodate future modification for alternate transportation needs (e.g. commuter rail, airport limousine, shared cars, electric cars, segways, intercity buses, taxis, car rental, bike parking, bike racks and lockers, bike rental, motorcycle parking, pedestrian access to the campus, Esplanade, downtown Kent, The Portage Hike & Bike Trail, etc.)
8. The facility should utilize green building strategies and employ eco-friendly operational strategies.
9. The facility shall be designed and operated so as to minimize the environmental impact on neighboring properties (i.e. noise and light pollution, water runoff, litter, etc.)
This Purpose and Needs Statement explicitly does not address the location of the multimodal facility or its overall size or its parking capacity. Neither is the cost nor the scope of its amenities delineated.
SUMMIT STREET PROJECT PURPOSE AND NEEDS STATEMENT (authored by KSUACAC)
Summit Street is a vital transportation corridor that connects various neighborhoods and institutions in the southeast quadrant of the City of Kent. (From S. Water Street (SR 43) at the Northwest and KSU stadium on the Southeast). This corridor is heavily used by automobiles, trucks, pedestrians, transit and bicyclists and at certain periods during week days and evenings suffers from congestion and dangerous conflicts between users including service vehicles and emergency personnel. Congestion on Summit Street peaks during those times the University is fully operational.
Consideration should be given throughout the design and construction of this project to minimize the possible negative impacts and accentuate the positive impacts the project may have on surrounding residential neighborhoods. Summit Street must not be widened. It must build upon the transportation planning and other principles used in the Crain Avenue Bridge Project Purpose and Needs Statement, the Terrace Area Parking Purpose and Needs Statement, the Bicentennial Comprehensive Plan and other City/Campus Projects as they evolve, including the framework for the Campus Link and/or multi-modal facility. Further, improvements to Summit Street are not stand alone solutions. In particular, these recommendations need to be integrated with the development of the multi-modal facility.
The proposed project activity consists of:
A. Reducing congestion
B. Improving safety
C. Allowing transit systems to move more smoothly
TRAFFIC IMPACT CONSIDERATIONS
- Preserve the assets of attractive surrounding residential neighborhoods. This should be done through traffic management, access management and traffic calming. (e.g. roundabouts)
- Design signal control systems that respond to the traffic “pulse” and make use of intelligent traffic signal systems.
- Consideration should be given to feeder intersections such as the Willow-Main intersection.
- Shift the balance between private and public transportation on Summit Street in favor of public transportation.
- Improve signage to direct traffic away from Summit Street, and direct traffic onto SR 43, SR 59, SR 261, and towards I-480, and the Ohio Turnpike.
- Make walking and bicycling the preferred and easiest modes of travel to campus and on campus by providing state of the art pedestrian facilities including smart crossings, boulevards/ medians, landscaping, barriers, shade trees, sheltered arcades and amenities that enhance the pedestrian experience, coordinating and connecting with the esplanade system.
- Provide dedicated bicycle lanes and/or paths, bicycle amenities and ready access to transit for bicycles.
- Place parking at each of the four (4) primary entrances to KSU and encourage public transit.
- Phase out parking spaces in lots adjacent to Summit Street and create incentives to park elsewhere.
- Study the relationship of University throughways to the perimeter roads.
- Encourage access to parking lots along Summit Street by directing vehicles to enter campus from the north or from the south as appropriate, rather than from Summit Street.
- Consideration should be given to the development of policies that will reduce traffic demands.
· Utilize traffic control systems to assure primacy of emergency vehicles.
§ Place bus shelters on and off campus.
§ Study segregating automobile traffic from bus traffic during peak traffic times.
§ Address bus re-entry into traffic from bus stops.