Kent Council discusses poor condition of Rockwell Street, bike signage and downtown recycle bins

By Jeremy Nobile | Staff Writer Published:

Kent City Council wants to see if the city has funds available to repair Rockwell Street, a short road off North Mantua Street, following complaints from a group of Kent residents.

About a half dozen people living on or near the street complained to council Wednesday about the road's condition.

"The street is literally falling apart," said Paulette Kordinak, who lives on Rockwell Street.

RELATED STORY: More than $1 million to pay for local road repairs in Kent this year

Residents complained about a lack of curbs, improper manhole covers and potholes that damage cars and pose safety hazards to children.

Charles Giaimo, a resident on Woodard Avenue, which is located off Rockwell, said he's seen children "wipeout" riding their bikes on the street.

Kordinak said Dominion East has notified neighbors of a possible gas leak under the street. Another resident suggested there may be sewer issues at the intersection of Woodard Avenue and Rockwell Street, citing an occasional "powerful, powerful" smell in the area.

City officials said the complaints were the first they heard of the possible gas and sewer issues.

City Manager Dave Ruller said there's "no doubt" the road is bad, but also said it's not the worst in the city. He noted a rating system is in place to identify the worst streets in the city, and many are worse than Rockwell.

Rockwell Street was not on this year's list of streets slated for resurfacing or seal coat repairs.

In light of the comments made, Councilman Scott Flynn suggested the city reconsider whether that road should be repaired this year and investigate if money is available, and council agreed.

In other business, council agreed to consider where and what kind of signage could be placed around town reminding motorists that bikes and cars share the roadways.

Councilwoman Tracy Wallach said she believes drivers overall aren't respecting bicyclists rights to be on the street, which is jeopardizing safety, and that education could solve the potential problem. That discussion would be grouped together with an examination of where similar signage could be placed downtown reminding cyclists that they're not permitted on the sidewalks.

At Wallach's suggestion, council also voted to consider purchasing three to five recycle bins that could be placed downtown to collect cans and bottles. Councilman John Kuhar voted against the measure. He said he believes the city might not want to spend the money and that the bins might just end up being treated as general trash receptacles.

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

Facebook: Jeremy Nobile, Record-Courier

Twitter: @jnobile_RPC

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