Neighborhood plan aims to transform boulevard, surrounding areas

Updated: Jul 26, 2018

Nearly a year after their successful Kenmore Better Block event, Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance is working hard to turn those temporary changes into permanent improvements along Kenmore Boulevard.

The organization recently received a $62,500 grant from the Huntington Akron Foundation to develop a comprehensive neighborhood plan. The goal is to create a set of recommendations based on resident feedback, the alliance’s revitalization efforts, and the city of Akron Planning Department’s large-scale neighborhood research. The plan will suggest both short- and long-term improvements to the neighborhood, which comes at a key time from a funding perspective: The city is prepared to invest significant resources into the Kenmore Boulevard business district through its Great Streets Akron program.

The Kenmore Neighborhood Plan, led by Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance’s community planning partner MKSK, gathered resident, business owner, and property owner feedback earlier this spring. They walked the boulevard with residents during May’s Jane’s Walk event and discussed advantages, needs, and opportunities in the district, a discussion that included everything from buildings, streets and alleyways, sidewalks, parking amenities and safety.

At the event, residents also voted on their favorite street design: a slower, more bike-and pedestrian-friendly Kenmore Blvd. with fully protected bike lanes and a single eastbound and westbound travel lane for cars. The vote came in advance of the city’s Kenmore Boulevard repaving project. The alliance shared residents’ preference with city traffic engineers in hopes of improving safety and comfort on the soon-to-be repaved Boulevard.

On Aug. 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Busk Until Dusk, residents are invited to review and provide feedback on a range of initial boulevard improvement concepts. The free event will take place on the 14th St. block of Kenmore Blvd. near Pierre’s Brooklyn Pizza. It will also include musicians like Kenmore residents Jim Ballard and Rialto Theatre co-owner Nate Vaill, as well as children’s activities by KenMore Kreative, vendors from across the area, and street food.

For more information about the neighborhood plan, visit www.betterkenmore.org/neighborhood-plan.

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