Barberton Better Block
At 4:55 pm, five minutes before the ribbon cutting ceremony, we stepped outside of our volunteer center at Faith Gym and saw a downpour washing away our week of hard work. We watched as purple and white tempera paint, used to create sharrows, crosswalks, and bumpouts, ran into the storm drains. The gaff tape used to extend the curb and outline crosswalks peeled up and followed the paint. After 30 long minutes, the rain subsided, and soon, Second Street became the lively downtown strip that the community hoped it would be. Community members shopped at the outdoor market, listened to local music, and played cornhole in the beer garden until well past the scheduled event times. Locals told us that is was the busiest Second Street had ever been, and restaurants sold out of food. With the help of our incredible volunteers, early the next morning, we were able to touch up some of the painted elements to prepare for the second day of programming. Despite the setbacks, the Barberton Better Block was a success, and achieved our goal of showing the potential of Second Street.