City of Akron Great Streets Initiative Partners with UA, First Energy

Feb 18, 2020

A total of 252 LED streetlights are being installed by Ohio Edison, a subsidiary for FirstEnergy Corp., in the South Exchange Street Corridor neighborhood thanks to a partnership between the City of Akron and The University of Akron.

The “Great Streets Initiative” aims at brightening the streets at night for students and other pedestrians in order to increase visibility and security in the dark, along with enhancing the appeal of off-campus housing in that area south of the University.

According to a UA press release, the new lights installation is expected to be finished by the end of May.

Edward Shuttleworth, President of Ohio Edison, said they are pleased to be a part of this initiative with the City of Akron and UA in order to make improvements.

“Communities across the FirstEnergy service areas in Ohio and elsewhere have noticed substantial improvements in visibility and security where LED streetlighting has been installed,” Shuttleworth said.

Not only do the LED streetlights provide more efficient, high-quality light output, they also have a longer life than traditional streetlights. They can also support newer safety technologies such as motion sensors and cameras that can be added in the future. 

The City of Akron has already installed similar LED streetlights in Akron’s Copley Road corridor and ten other centers of Akron neighborhoods are expected to receive the new lights through this initiative in the coming years, the press release said.

UA President Gary Miller said the “Great Streets Initiative” will provide a more secure environment for not only Akron residents, but also the students living near the South Exchange Street Corridor.

“This project, which will create a more appealing and secure environment for all residents, is the kind of win-win collaboration that the University is eager to engage in and support,” President Miller said.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said this area is an important part of the University as its off-campus community, serving as a hub for activities with a variety of restaurants and shops.

“Where the lights are brighter, residents feel safer, and we’re pleased today to start making this a brighter, more inviting space for our students to live, work, shop and learn,” Mayor Horrigan said.

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