With all the new miles of hike and bike trails in Kent, and outdoor friendly weather finally settling in to northeast Ohio, it’s perfect timing for the unveiling of two of the City’s most recent additions to support your outdoor enjoyment: a water bottle refilling station and bike self-help repair station.
These are small but hopefully impactful additions to the Kent scene. They’re both located in downtown Kent — the water bottle station at the Hometown Bank plaza and the bike repair station down at the end of the bike trail where it connects to Franklin Street, across from the Haymaker Farmer’s Market.
My cell phone photos don’t do either justice, so I’ve copied an article from the Record Courier that gives you both the details and a much better photo.
New bike repair and water bottle filling station in Kent
The city of Kent is providing two new services to pedestrians and cyclists this summer.
Kent City Engineer Jim Bowling said the new water bottle filling station on North Water Street next to Hometown Bank is a “multitasking” project that will fulfill two needs.
“Every year, providing water to vendors at festivals is important,” he said. “In addition, having a more walkable area means you see lots of people walking around with water bottles.”
The water bottle filling station, he said, was purchased through the city and was modified by workers in the city’s central maintenance department. During the Heritage Festival, Bowling said, vendors can connect hoses to the pipes inside the station. Previously, the only way to provide “clean potable water” to those vendors was to connect hoses to the city’s fire hydrants.
“It fulfills two needs,” he said. “It’s a multi-tasking thing.”
The Fixit bike repair station is located at the sandstone seating area under the Haymaker Bridge on Franklin Avenue. It includes all the tools necessary to perform basic bike repairs and maintenance, from changing a flat to adjusting brakes and derailleurs. The tools and air pump are attached to the stand with stainless steel cables and fasteners. Hanging the bike from the hanger arms allows the pedals and wheels to spin freely while making adjustments.
“We came up with the idea for the Fixit station after seeing one at the Metroparks trailhead on Middlebury Road, and thought it would be a great location for bikers when they come downtown, to make minor repairs or fill up a low tire,” Parks and Recreation Director John Idone said.
The station is part of the Harold Walker Rest Area on the Portage Hike & Bike Trail and was funded by the Zephyr, which donated more than $300 toward the project, Kent Environmental Council and the Walker family. This spring, flowering crabapple trees and daylillies were planted at the site. The sandstones that form the seating area and retaining wall were salvaged from the Plum Creek Dam removal.
A bronze plaque will be ready some time in July. The plaque will read: “This rest area is dedicated to Rev. Harold Walker Jr., Jan 26, 1927-June 20, 2017. Always an environmentalist, Harold was often seen riding his bicycle all around Kent. With a warm smile and a welcoming presence, he loved connecting with people from all walks of life. Through his lifelong commitment to sustainable transportation and environmental justice, Harold Walker Jr. made the world a more just and beautiful place.”