Commentary: Sidewalks Open to Local Businesses!

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – So, they say that a picture speaks a thousand words. Maybe in this instance, a picture speaks ten thousand (or more) words.

Most residents in the valley have at least some knowledge that MAJOR re-construction of downtown Youngstown’s streets has been going on for quite some time. To be clear, the work is not just resurfacing streets and adding new curbing and sidewalks. Much of the work includes the replacement of infrastructure beneath the streets. 

Truckloads of pipe, concrete basins and other infrastructure components arrive daily in the downtown area. Government, banking institutions, the courts and countless business addresses downtown have had to maintain operations amid the construction — because they provide essential services on many different levels. In addition, the ever-growing downtown resident population must maneuver the always-changing road closures, detours and sidewalk limitations.

News coverage, town hall meetings, occasional zoom updates and public comments of all kinds has kept the progress and the frustration of this effort in the headlines and agendas of local news organizations and social media.

The picture above seems to capture the progress and plans of things to come, while admitting that the frustration and complexity of the situation is going to be with us for quite awhile.

With all the above in mind, here is a partial list of businesses that would like us to really look at the yellow sign:

  • Bistro 1902
  • West 34
  • V2
  • The Federal
  • Imbibe and Ryes
  • Draught House
  • Prima Cucina
  • Whistle and Keg
  • Avalon

As mentioned, this is a partial list and includes many more eateries on the edge of downtown and in the YSU campus area. It is important to remember that these types of establishments have been hit hard during this construction phase. Why, you ask? Because they are businesses who rely on choice, verses going to the doctor, stopping in the bank, paying a water bill at city hall, signing a legal document at a lawyer’s office, etc.

This weekend and coming week, thousands, yes thousands of people will travel downtown for a sold-out concert at Covelli, a high school and YSU football game on Friday and Saturday respectively, a major series of events at Oh Wow! and the opening of the Youngstown Symphony later in the week.

Yes, parking and maneuvering is not the best right now. But the list included in this article and many more similar providers of food and entertainment deserve our consideration and support.

Looking on the brighter side, Commerce Street and Front Street downtown (which parallel Federal Street) are nearly complete and show evidence of how the finished product will enhance the footprint of downtown.

Look at the yellow sign in the photo above, again: SIDEWALKS OPEN TO LOCAL BUSINESSES!

Come downtown and see the progress. Look forward to the future and stop in and support the businesses AND thank them for their patience and commitment.

Picture at top: Federal Street construction Thursday morning.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.