YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Police in Youngstown are concerned about the buildup of traffic congestion in downtown at night and on weekends because of ride-sharing drivers.
“If there was a way to just have a designated space, an area that they would just park us in, it would be more convenient for everyone instead of being congested everywhere,” said Joy Thorton.
Designated pickup areas are being considered for services such as Uber and Lyft.
It’s almost a good problem to have downtown compared to what the area was like 20 years ago.
“You could roll a bowling ball down the middle of the street behind me and not worry about hitting anybody. You couldn’t even try that now,” said Lieutenant Bill Ross.
More traffic is building up during peak times from people going to restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.
The city is trying to come up with a solution in which they would designate three or four different ride-sharing drop-off and pick-up locations downtown. Some of those areas could be along Commerce Street near the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, behind the police station on Hazel Street and near the Covelli Centre and new amphitheater.
“It gives them a safe area. The police know where the people are to get picked up. They’re lit, they do have camera coverage to them. The drivers know where they’re coming,” said Ross.
Ross said he still needs to work out details with local ride-sharing companies and make sure local businesses are also on board.
“It’s certainly a better problem than what we used to have, which was impaired drivers on the road,” he said.
Police are hoping to have the areas created before the first concerts at the new amphitheater.