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West Side Education News & Notes

1/9/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

New signalizations aim for pedestrian safety

DOWNTOWN AKRON — A new signalization format known as a Barnes Dance or a pedestrian scramble has gone into effect at the intersections of East Exchange and Grant streets and East Exchange and Sumner streets.

This pedestrian scramble provides a “pedestrians only” crossing phase that stops vehicular traffic in all directions and lets pedestrians cross in all directions.

“With new student housing options available, foot traffic has and will continue to sharply increase. By stopping traffic completely to let our residents and students cross in all directions, our pedestrians are safer because pedestrian-vehicle conflicts are necessarily reduced,” Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic stated in a press release.

Banners went up recently at the intersection alerting drivers and pedestrians to the change.

City officials stress the Barnes Dance only works when everyone follows the signalizations. Pedestrians must only walk when traffic is stopped in all directions and the pedestrian signals indicate it is time to walk.

“If the rules are followed, then it is the safest method available to protect our pedestrians,” said Akron Chief of Police Jim Nice. “We are going to be monitoring this intersection for compliance, and if the rules are not followed, police will start handing out citations.”

According to city officials, the pedestrian scramble is one new signalization change among several designed to make pedestrians safer. Currently, a Safe Routes to School study is underway to assess safety needs for walking routes to all 41 kindergarten-through-eighth-grade Akron Public Schools buildings.

A new four-way stop has been installed at Baker Avenue and Hillman Road for Hatton Community Learning Center (CLC), and a new traffic signal has been installed at Litchfield Road and Newton Street at the driveway for the new Seiberling CLC.

Starting in January, new Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons will be installed at the school crossings at Newton and Boyd streets and Bloomfield Avenue and West Exchange Street as test installations.

More improvements can be expected as the Safe Routes to School program continues through 2014. For any questions or comments, contact Andy Davis at 330-375-2851 or adavis@akronohio.gov.


UA offers Hospitality/Culinary Arts courses for Ohio seniors

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Sixty-Plus Program provides Ohio residents 60 and older the opportunity to audit classes or take courses for credit on a space-available, nontuition basis. Auditing allows students to attend classes, but college credit is not awarded.

Spring semester classes — offering the chance to learn about baking, basic food preparation, safety and sanitation and the hospitality industry — start Jan. 13 at The University of Akron’s (UA) Summit College.

As auditing students, Sixty-Plus participants are exempt from payment of tuition and general service fees but are expected to pay for any books, special fees and laboratory or instructional fees. To qualify for the Sixty-Plus Program, the prospective student must be 60 or older and have resided in Ohio for at least one year.

To be eligible for nontuition courses for credit, the student’s family income must be less than 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines as revised annually by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services for a family size equal to the size of the family of the person whose income is being determined.

Space availability is determined after the degree-seeking students have registered. Sixty-Plus registrations are held immediately before the start of each term, and participants must register in person.

Sixty-Plus students will be issued a Student ID Card, which permits them use of specific university/college facilities and services and provides student rates for purchasing goods and services.

For more information, call the Student Services Office at 330-683-2010 or Summit College Advising at 330-972-7221 or Hospitality Management Program at 330-972-6601 or visit www.uakron.edu/summitcollege/60plus.

Registration for the Sixty-Plus Program is today, Jan. 9, and tomorrow, Jan. 10, in person, in Simmons Hall at UA.


Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.

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