LIBERTY TWP., Ohio (WKBN) — After a trustees meeting Wednesday, there’s now a plan in place to make a mile-and-a-half stretch of Belmont Avenue in Liberty more accessible to pedestrians.
Wednesday afternoon at the Liberty Township Administration building, Chris Tolnar of the GDP Group walked First News through the plan to make Belmont Avenue from Interstate 80 to Churchill Plaza more pedestrian friendly.
The plan includes new sidewalks, crosswalks, lighting and possibly a bike path in the future on the stretch of road from Denny’s to Giant Eagle.
“I think you’re talking more of a 10-year, 20-year type [of] thing here. This isn’t all just try to get all bang for our buck today,” Tolnar said.
But there is $750,000 in grants ready for some work now. Plans have been drawn up for new sidewalks on the east side of Belmont Avenue, from Perni Lane near Handel’s to Churchill Road. Sidewalks will also be installed from Churchill Road to the Giant Eagle plaza.
“When somebody stops at a hotel they’ll feel comfortable. They can stop, they don’t have to get back in their car to go to a restaurant,” said Liberty trustee Arnie Clebone. “They can feel safe walking on sidewalks, new sidewalks we’re going to have.”
To make it safe, new crosswalks will be needed — and there were pictures of what they would look like.
“Plus, [they will] give us some opportunity for some lighting. Some enhancement opportunities: benches, landscaping, different things like that,” Tolnar said.
Among those checking out the plans was the former owner of Kravitz Deli, Jack Kravitz.
“Anything to make Belmont pedestrian and bike friendly is good for me,” Kravitz said. “We need to get more people out and about and on Belmont.”
According to Tolnar, another possible project includes creating a connection with what would be a hike-and-bike trail from Liberty’s California Acres development to the Giant Eagle plaza, though that is a longer-term plan.
It’s possible the new sidewalks along Belmont Avenue could go in as early as this year. If not this year, then in 2024.