It turns out that Mettis Construction has the construction of the new Dan Smith Community Park underway — here’s a couple of quick photos of the action: (forgive the photo quality, they were taken on my phone from my office window).
The Fire Chief asked me to pass along their plans for live fire training at the KSU Allerton Apartments beginning August 20th and ending August 22nd, between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm.
The Chief wanted to be sure that when area residents observed smoke from the training events they didn’t think there was an actual fire emergency.
This training event is being planned in conjunction with Kent State University who is scheduled to demolish the remaining buildings of the Allerton Apartment complex in the next month.
Chief Tosko explained that the chance to practice fire rescue in a live burn situation is a unique opportunity that maybe comes around once every 3-5 years when he’s able to get permission to get in a vacant building that is scheduled for demolition.
The Chief has expert trainers coming in to lead the controlled burn and he points out that they follow strict EPA guidelines which includes a thorough permitting process to ensure that all potential environmental hazards are removed from the building prior to the combustion process.
It’s worth noting that the buildings aren’t actually burned, the Fire Department selectively locates straw and clean wooden pallets in locations inside the building to create a re-enactment of a fire scene. No remaining walls, ceilings or roof are burned in this process.
The controlled burns will occur at staggered intervals and will be contained to small areas inside the rooms of several apartments. Each individual burn should last 5-8 minutes each with training discussions on tactics and procedures performed immediately following each burn event.
One of Kent’s most popular services — the yard waste processing facility — has become a victim of it’s own success and we’re temporarily out of processed mulch for residents to pick up for free.
The good news is residents can still drop off their leaves and brush but they’ll have to wait to take any new mulch home with them until we can arrange for the tub grinding contractor to return to Kent and shred the piles that we have on site.
The City’s Service Director, Gene Roberts, issued this press notice last week:
Here’s Kent’s “podium” photo from the Greater Ohio Award presented to the City and Kent State University last week for Kent’s “catalytic partnership.”
Big thanks to Tom Wilke, Kent Economic Development Director, Kelvin Barry, KSU Economic Development Director and Mayor Jerry Fiala for representing Kent on the podium in Columbus.
You may have noticed that we’ve recently had the Police speed trailer on S. Depeyster Street (in front of Bricco’s) to collect speed data on the street. We put that out to help us evaluate whether there’s data to justify converting the 2-way stop at the Erie/Depeyster intersection to a 4-way stop.
Currently, traffic on S. Depeyster Street heading south have no stop sign while the traffic on Erie Street heading east or west have stop signs.
From a traffic engineering perspective, the intersection should be a 2-way stop (the way it operates now) but we have watched some confusion by motorists on S. Depeyster who seem uncertain whether they should stop or go thru that intersection because in some respects it feels like a 4-way stop.
It seems to be that any confusion has caused cars to slow down and/or stop when technically they don’t have to and we’re thankful that there haven’t been any accidents to suggest that the intersection is dangerous and needs be changed.
However, we’re never fans of confusion in areas where cars have to cross so we’ve asked our City Engineers to evaluate the functioning of that intersection and come up with some options to reduce, if not eliminate, that confusion.
One of the first steps is to get the street striping completed which should help provide better cues to drivers and improve some of the site distance issues as we plan to push the parking spaces back further away from the intersection with the new striping.
In the world of traffic engineering, any changes made to traffic patterns have very specific criteria they have to meet before they can even be considered. When it comes to life safety issues, caution has to rule the day.
At this point, we’re examining and evaluating to see how this intersection stacks up against the engineering standards required for 2 way and 4 way stops. Hopefully a few small steps, like improved striping, will take care of the confusion.