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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.

Mick Mummy February 10, 2013 at 02:41 PM
I sure hope they keep these spaces extremely cheap. The purpose I thought was to allow more street parking to help customers get to businesses. If the parking deck isnt dirt cheap, then the same situation will exist.
Pat February 10, 2013 at 03:40 PM
I am sure the rates will not be cheap. Might still be cheaper to park else where in Kent. Know one seems to get it. that city only complains as well as the shoppers that there is know where to park in Kent. But the city cares less how much the drivers must pay to park.
Trans Plant February 10, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Hudson and Cuyahoga Falls have free parking around their shopping districts, but Kent is going to charge? Seems foolish. Why put an obstacle and expense between Kent retailers and restaurants and potential customers?
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! February 10, 2013 at 05:18 PM
Can the drivers get some type of tax abatement or the like as the businesses have? Why bother making the citizens of Kent pay if the businesses don't? Now onto the school levy and more money for a police station. Oh, and my taxes went up. Maybe I'll get a raise at work (NOT!). Fun!
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! February 10, 2013 at 05:21 PM
And people will continue to go to Hudson and Cuyahoga Falls. This is Kent. Things don't make sense here. Don't even try.
Dr. Anarchy Clown PHD February 10, 2013 at 09:45 PM
glad to see everyone is still complaining! great job kent citizens!
Mick Mummy February 10, 2013 at 09:46 PM
It would be hilarious to see an empty parking garage, and not a single street spot open. If it's only like $2 to $3 a day, then MAYBE dowtown workers will choose to park there instead of filling up all the streetspots. But I doubt it. They'll already most likely have to walk further and be inconvenient. If you dont leave the street spots for customers, they probably wouldnt mind the extra walking from the parking deck (in decent weather). They're already used to having to walk kinda far cause its hard to find a spot. But then you are adding a parking cost, just to go downtown for a bite to eat, or a quick stop at a retailer. Places that already charge a little more anyway.
Jim Williams February 10, 2013 at 10:14 PM
It's kinda funny to hear so many talk of "free" parking. I'm pretty sure that at least part of my income tax, gasoline taxes and license fees (a tax, if you will) go toward maintaining streets in the city. This garage is a public lot in that it is subsidized with a federal grant, and operated by PARTA, but that doesn't mean that once it's built it just self-maintains. Fees will help to keep the facility running, keep rents lower for merchants in the building, and help keep PARTA solvent with fewer direct tax dollars. There's no such thing as a free lunch or a free parking space. Even in Hudson.
Donald S February 10, 2013 at 11:31 PM
kind of like your "gross" comment on the chocolate walk. great job, but I am sure your comment is somehow different
Sa;;y February 11, 2013 at 11:48 AM
Hey Clown! Let me guess.... you're part of the circus that running this town? You already have your citizen paid salary and parking spot so money isn't an issue for you.
William February 11, 2013 at 01:40 PM
Of course you will have to pay to park! If Parta makes the parking free next thing you will have is Campus students parking there like its the stadium never leaving any spaces open for anyone else. Take in to consideration that right across the street from the new parking garage is a new apartment building with NO parking in the site plan where are they going to park? In the new deck so if you don't charge people would park for extended times and it will never turning over for others to use! Also as said earlier those funds from parking will pay for upkeep!
Dr. Anarchy Clown PHD February 11, 2013 at 10:23 PM
i don't work for the city, nor do i drive downtown. kent is very walkable, more people should try it.
Shannon February 28, 2013 at 07:50 PM
So if I want to get a bowl of soup, or popcorn, or pick up a trinket at Gracey Lane...and it takes me a total of 10 minutes, what will I have to pay the garage? Will they do the right thing and say that the first 1/2 hour is free? Or will it be a flat rate no matter what...in essence, making a $3.00 bag of popcorn...$5.00 or more? The hubby and I have yet to get an answer on this very important question.
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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