OPINION

Letter to the Editor: Akron-Peninsula Road 'provides essential linkages'

Kent Weeklies

Akron-Peninsula Road at the south end of the village of Peninsula remains closed indefinitely. Peninsula does not have the funds needed to re-open the road.  And no local, state or federal agencies have so far stepped in to help get this road fixed.

Akron-Peninsula Road is a major thoroughfare that provides essential linkages between the Greater Akron area, Peninsula, northern Summit and southern Cuyahoga counties, and to all areas of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Its closure creates economic losses to Peninsula by diverting potential customer traffic from the south; it places a burden on the Woodridge School District by adding miles and minutes to school bus and parents’ routes; adds to response times and capabilities for first responders in the areas in and surrounding Peninsula, including response times for park rangers; creates even further problems for local mail and delivery personnel; and exacerbates traffic problems for Blossom Music Center. 

Its closure severs the access that unites complimentary park areas for CVNP and Summit Metroparks, creating a loss of recreational and tourist opportunities for the region by discouraging park visitors from fully accessing and enjoying all areas of the park.

CVNP has considered closing the road permanently. CVNP’s history of avoiding the financial responsibilities for the maintenance of the park infrastructure which it benefits from reflects a policy of neglect. It places the burden of this maintenance on local counties and communities that cannot afford and who receive no tax revenue from CVNP.   It has resulted in constant closures of essential roads serving CVNP and the region, including permanent closures of roads like Everett and Oak Hill roads.

If you are concerned about this road closure and the responsibilities CVNP should bear for the maintenance of its park infrastructure, I urge you to submit your comments to the CVNP public comment site (https://parkplanning.nps.gov/cuyavisitorsemanagement) by their April 9 deadline and to make your views known to our local, state and federal representatives as well.

Dean Smith, Peninsula