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Published: Thursday, 6/12/2014 - Updated: 6 months ago

TOLEDO

Plan debated for gateway to downtown Toledo

Many like change; traffic moves could hurt others

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

For many of the dozens of people who heard a city presentation Wednesday evening about a proposed realignment of the Anthony Wayne Trail’s entrance into downtown Toledo, that plan is a positive.

“Any time the entrance to a metropolitan area is inviting, it can only be a plus,” said Catherine Schrein, a resident of the nearby Bartley Lofts who moved back to her native Toledo last year after 35 years of living in New Jersey.

“It’s about first impressions … [and] an attractive and safe neighborhood for the residents,” she said.

But as is usually the case with any new or shifted road, not everyone’s happy.

In this case, the proposal to curve the Trail’s inbound lanes onto part of Vance Street, then hook them back onto Erie Street just south of its intersection with Lafayette Street would bring the new roadway uncomfortably close to Jacquelyn Cisterino’s electrical-supply business.

The rerouted Trail would be so close to her 11th Street building that it would cut off the driveway tractor-trailers now use to deliver supplies to the business, she said.

“Plus, there’s the value of the building,” Mrs. Cisterino said after city officials’ brief description of the project at the Erie Street Market’s Fountain Room. “Who’s going to want to buy that building, the one people are flying by? … We’ve been there since 1981, long before it was fashionable to be down here.”

City officials said that is the sort of issue they want to hear about at this stage of planning the $3.75 million project, with construction likely about two years away, and promised to see what can be done to maintain or reroute access to the rear of the Cisterino property.

The city hopes to build the project concurrent with an upcoming Ohio Department of Transportation overhaul of I-75 through the Trail interchange, resulting in a complete makeover for the Trail’s weary, 1960s-vintage pavement between Lafayette and the bridges over Swan Creek.

Changing the inbound lanes’ approach to Erie Street is intended to simplify the Erie-Lafayette intersection, allow restoration of two-way traffic on Lafayette Street, improve pedestrian safety in the area, and provide a parklike setting with public artwork for one of downtown Toledo’s main entry points.

Tom Glassmoyer, who lives at Lafayette and Huron streets, said that, overall, “the plan’‍s great,” but he hopes measures can be worked into the project to curb truck traffic on the local streets — most notably, tractor-trailers hauling mail to and from Toledo’‍s main post office nearby or traveling Nebraska Avenue to get between I-75 and Norfolk Southern’‍s railroad terminal on Hill Avenue.

Ann Albright, whose family owns Swan Creek Candle as well as several residential buildings in the Warehouse District, said she’s “really pleased about” the city plan. However, she added that once it’‍s built, the city also will need to keep up on maintenance.

Contact David Patch at: dpatch@theblade.com or 419-724-6094.



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