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Akron launches survey for feedback on future development of abandoned section of Innerbelt

Posted at 10:30 AM, Jan 20, 2023

AKRON, Ohio — The City of Akron has launched a survey asking for feedback and ideas on what to do with the abandoned section of the Innerbelt.

Construction on the inner belt began in 1970, displacing residents and businesses. A portion of the highway between Market and Exchange streets closed permanently in 2018, so the city wants to use this as a chance to reconnect downtown with a new site in the city.

City leaders originally had big plans for the highway that was intended to connect downtown Akron with the suburbs. Instead, it pushed hundreds of Black families out of their homes.

Summer Hall, the community outreach coordinator for the Akron Innnerbelt, said more than 1,400 homes were displaced during the highway’s construction. The survey provides residents a chance to shape what the space will look like in the future.

The city is looking at the survey as an opportunity to correct mistakes of the past and breathe new life into the 30-acre site.

“There's been conversations where people were like 'a park.' They were like, 'maybe a history museum there.' They would like to some place we can activate the site,” Hall said. “We have a beautiful luxury. We're actually involved in redevelopment of Lock 3, and if we activate the site on inner belt, hey, why not?”

The survey is live until January 31st and consists of nine questions. You can find it on the Akronite App or by clicking here.

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