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Transit Center to Open in March for Parking

PARTA plans grand opening of Kent Central Gateway later in 2013

Drivers will be able to park their cars in PARTA's new Kent Central Gateway transit center and parking deck some time next month.

The transit agency is on track to open the parking portion of the transit center, with its 365 public parking spaces, by the end of March.

Bryan Smith, director of planning for PARTA, said exactly when next month the parking deck opens will depend on the weather.

The 10-bus bay transit element of the Kent Central Gateway won't open until later this year after the reconstruction of Erie Street between Haymaker Parkway — where a new intersection will be built — and South DePeyster Streeet.

"And that requires asphalt," Smith said.

PARTA also didn't want to open the transit portion of the new center before the end of spring semester at Kent State University because such a move will drastically change some bus routes once buses start using the downtown center as a hub.

Cars will only be able to access the deck ramp via the entrance on South DePeyster Street.

The opening of the parking deck's 365 spaces will offer relief for some who park downtown, where spaces are at a premium and often unavailable in the core business district.

Smith said PARTA is working with a parking consultant to set rates for the deck, which will charge drivers to park in its spaces. But the first few days it is open drivers may not have to pay because the toll booths, gates and other necessary equipment won't be installed before next month.

"When we first open we may not collect revenue," Smith said. "We may use people to collect revenue. We will open in March whether we have (collection) equipment in place or not.

"It's an education process for everybody, and the public is going to be part of that," he said.

Shannon February 28, 2013 at 07:58 PM
There is no real shopping yet. Near as I can see, it is food place after food place. Where is the shopping that we were promised? They just opened another pizza place on Erie, because it needs it! Poor Two Guys, and Euro at each end. They pay their dues for years, and the city thanks them by allowing a chain to open only yards from their front doors! Why is nobody seeing that for what it is? Word has it, that yet another place is opening over Tree City and Funky Ladles. 4 pizza places within one small city block. Nowhere retail attractions...but MORE pizza. Tumbleweeds will be blowing through that area in 2 years.
Aaron D March 11, 2013 at 09:38 AM
Kent is a different kind of place. We are not want to be small town Cuyahoga Falls, we are not upscale Hudson. Kent is a college town with flavor and attitude and everyone loves pizza at 2am. Parking should be a nominal charge just like in every normal city. Parking decks have to be maintained somehow.
Aaron D March 11, 2013 at 09:41 AM
Parking will probably be 3-5 dollars a day and free on special events. I doubt any less. Covered parking for a few bucks? Why not? I would if I worked in an office downtown
Aaron D March 11, 2013 at 09:44 AM
It will probably be just like every parking deck in Cleveland and Akron. Have you not been to a hospital deck? usually fifteen minutes is cool and then you pay for the time you use.
Aaron D March 11, 2013 at 09:45 AM
Stop asking for handouts and complaining!

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