Thanks to AMATS, new cycling and pedestrian amenities may start blossoming in New Franklin and Akron soon.  During its March 28 meeting, the AMATS Policy Committee awarded two $40,000 grants from the agency’s Connecting Communities Planning Grant Program to develop plans that promote safe and livable communities along a portion of state Route 619 in New Franklin and Akron’s Summit Lake neighborhood.


The Connecting Communities Planning Grant Program promotes active transportation solutions such as walking and cycling in land use planning rather than motor vehicle use.  Since its launch in 2010, the program has funded studies throughout the Greater Akron area, most recently in Lakemore Village and Springfield Township.



AMATS Mobility Planner Heather Davis Reidl says that New Franklin’s SR 619 Corridor Development Planning Study and Akron’s Summit Lake Pedestrian Safety Master Plan were the two highest scoring proposals submitted from eight applicants across the region.


“New Franklin officials stated in their grant application and AMATS agreed that a study of the state Route 619 corridor, between South Main and State streets, is needed, especially as a new residential development is planned near the state Route 619 and Point Comfort Drive intersection,” Reidl explains.


As there are no nearby safe facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, New Franklin officials opted to pursue a proactive planning approach.  Reidl says that this study will consider potential solutions to accommodate all modes of transportation for hundreds of new residents in an area expected to grow in the coming years.


Renewed investment and new cycling, pedestrian, and recreational amenities are attracting new visitors and increased traffic to Akron’s Summit Lake neighborhood.  City officials will use the upcoming Summit Lake Pedestrian Safety Master Plan to identify a framework for the development and integration of complete street principles during the neighborhood’s ongoing renaissance.  Reidl says that the aim of the plan is to improve pedestrian safety for persons of all ages and abilities in the Summit Lake neighborhood.