Copley Road Better Block
The Copley Road Better Block worked to reimagine Copley Road between Hawkins and Nome Avenue in Akron, Ohio. In collaboration with the Knight Foundation, Summit County Think Tank Coalition, Progressive Alliance CDC, and several passionate community members, we were able to transform Copley Road into a neighborhood destination.
To address the issues of safety and turn the Copley/Hawkins intersection into a destination, we knew we had to increase public life and eyes on the street. After working through a few different design iterations, we proposed removing all of the parking in front of the buildings to create a public space. To ease concerns about parking, we installed parallel parking spaces to act as a buffer and make the environment safe for pedestrians, brought out rubber curb cuts to create more accessible parking along the side of the building, and worked with the city to have the district-wide public parking lots re-striped and marked with signage. In the newly reclaimed space, we created a series of three parklets that functioned as both seating for attendees and intimate venues for local bands and performing artists.
Many long-time residents expressed their excitement about seeing their neighborhood active again. One resident said, “I haven’t walked or sat down on Copley Road since I was a kid. That’s what it used to be, and we are trying to bring it back.”