Roadblock questioned

Councilman hopes to have Dana Street barriers removed

WARREN — Some residents around Dana Street are debating the need for concrete barriers placed on either side of the former Packard Electric building in order to stop vandalism on what would have been the Auto ParkIt manufacturing facility.

Councilman Alford Novak, D-2nd Ward, is expected tonight to place in first reading an ordinance to have the barriers, which have been on the street for more than a year, removed because there is “no longer a necessity to have temporary traffic control, lighting and signage to restrict vehicle and pedestrian traffic flow.”

Area residents have been expressing concern the barriers are not creating a safer environment and they are encouraging dumping in the neighborhood, he said.

In November, council passed an ordinance allowing the barriers to remain on Dana Street for 90 days.

Diane M. Manofsky, who lives in the neighborhood, said in a letter sent to council earlier this month that the barriers may “restrict access of safety forces in times of emergency when seconds matter.”

The barriers have caused an increase of car, truck and tractor trailer traffic traveling on nearby residential neighborhoods, including Bank and Forest streets and Paige Avenue.

Manofsky questions why Dana Street has been closed for such a long period of time.

“For many years, and to the best of my recollections, two major corporations, Packard Electric and Ohio Lamp, employed several thousand workers that traveled Dana Street NE and/or North Park Avenue daily,” she wrote. “Now, Dana Street continues to be blocked and there has been no activity for several months at the former Packard Electric site.”

“Activity has involved a couple cars, and occasionally one or two small trucks that would park in front of Packard’s former medical office, which doesn’t seem to warrant the street closure,” she continued.

“I am putting this legislation in first reading to give residents a chance to express their concerns ,” Novak said. “Beyond the barriers, there is supposed to be a plan about getting the property cleaned up. We want to see the plans.”

The barriers were placed on Dana Street between North Park and Paige avenues by the city at the request of businessman Christopher Alan, who was leasing the former Delphi Packard facility while preparing to make it the manufacturing site for his Auto ParkIt business.

Alan, a Warren native who moved to California where he established Auto ParkIt, an automated hydraulic lift parking system, returned in 2015 to announce he was planning to establish a design, manufacturing and storage facility for the company.

Safety Service Director Enzo Cantalamessa said at the time Alan requested the barriers, the former Delphi building was being vandalized by people throwing rocks through its windows and destroying property.