New student apartments in Kent lead to traffic upgrades on Loop Road

By Thomas Gallick | Staff Writer Published:

A new traffic signal and two stop signs are now in place on Loop Road thanks to increased pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic from two apartment complexes near Kent State University campus' eastern border.

The new traffic signal at the intersection of Loop and Rhodes roads will be activated Friday. University Edge, the apartment complex that opened this fall on the former site of Sunrise Apartments on Rhodes Road, agreed to pay to install the signal because of the increased traffic expected from students living at the complex.

University Edge has 612 beds of housing at 1150 Rhodes Road, more than double the number of beds that existed when Sunrise Apartments operated on the site.

Dean Tondiglia, associate safety director at KSU, said school officials believed an upgrade to the intersection was necessary even before University Edge opened.

"We've been looking at that intersection for a while for a new traffic signal or even a roundabout," he said.

Tondiglia said the intersection is not particularly accident prone, but heavy traffic around noon and 5 p.m. can cause significant backups in the area.

According to the Kent Division of Engineering, responsibility for maintenance of the signal transferred to KSU after University Edge installed it.

KSU also has installed two stop signs at the intersection of Loop Road and Jackson Drive, near the University Oaks student apartment complex.

"Since that housing development opened, we'd noticed a significant increase in pedestrian traffic," Tondiglia said.

He said the stop signs were meant to slow traffic to create a safer environment for pedestrians to cross from University Oaks to campus.

The 520-bed University Oaks opened this fall. Before it was renovated into student housing, the complex was a senior housing development known as Silver Oaks.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1126 or tgallick@recordpub.com

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