The three mile stretch of Route 422, from Girard to Youngstown, is now the focus of a major revitalization plan.
Cities and private organizations came together to fund a master plan on how to improve the corridor.
Ian Beniston from the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, says "We have quite a bit of economic development but cleaning the corridor up making it look as good as it possibly can will leverage additional job creation also stabilize the neighborhoods around here that faced some distress over the past couple decades."
John Rossi, a consultant to the Regional Chamber, says, "To have this be the focal point of the community when people get off interstate 80 people come to see YSU or go into Trumbull county is of utmost importance not only for our image but for our community pride."
The plan targets five key themes: improving the look of 422, identify areas for new industrial development, support local businesses, stabilize residential areas and improve natural areas for parks and trails.
"The plan ultimately will lead into larger infrastructure issues which may lead to economic development down the line as well as improvements to the actual roadway itself to beautify it as sort of a promenade into the cities, says Rossi.
The plan itself will be used to solicit state and federal grants and other funding to help pay for the proposed recommendations.
Organizers believe it will take a few years for everything to be realized and completed.
Although the plan contains multiple strategies for YNDC and its partners to pursue, each recommendation requires a different set of partners and volunteer efforts, enabling many proposals to be addressed concurrently.
Regardless of who spearheads a given initiative, implementation of the plan will necessitate great cooperation, hard work, and persistence to ensure that resulting change delivers success to the residents, business owners, and stakeholders in the 422 corridor.
The plan outlines new investment in community programs, public infrastructure, parks, housing and retail.
It’s important to note that economic investment brings economic benefits both to the local community but also to the cities of Youngstown and Girard, Mahoning and Trumbull counties, the region and State.
Thee benefits emerge from both upfront construction and through ongoing operations, or ripple effects, that are the result of new jobs, expenditures and sales.
But to reach this potential it will be important to keep the momentum built during the planning process alive.
IMMEDIATE NEXT STEPS
1. SUBMIT THE PLAN FOR ADOPTION
2. IDENTIFY A 422 CORRIDOR PROJECT MANAGER
3. FORM 5 ACTION TEAMS
4. GET TO WORK WITH A SPRING CLEAN UP
Cleaning up the corridor ranked #1 during the priority identification exercise at the recommendations public meeting.
The surrounding neighborhood groups should partner with local businesses and Youngstown Green to kick off the plan with a cleanup of the corridor.
This will help to keep engagement levels high and make sure residents and business owners are further invested in the plan’s success.
You can download entire study here.
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