Dana Street inconvenience must end now

We still are scratching our heads at why a public thoroughfare on Warren’s northeast side has remained closed to traffic since 2016, reportedly so a business owner in the neighborhood can continue renovations on an industrial building there.

Last week, council approved another request by the owner, Christopher Alan, for another three-month extension. We weren’t surprised by council’s approval, especially given that Alan is now providing a description of the progress he’s made at the building.

After nearly four years, should we expect anything less than progress? We wonder why work wasn’t complete long before now.

The closure began shortly after Alan’s company, Auto Parkit — which builds automated parking decks often used in large metropolitan areas — had purchased the former Delphi Packard Electric buildings and the GE Lamp Plant building. He was intending to expand his California-based business into the buildings.

Alan had asked city leaders to block the street to prevent vehicle traffic and thereby cut down on vandalism to his buildings. The city agreed, and the street has been blockaded ever since then.

Now, the closure is being addressed in 90-day increments.

Look, we are all for economic development and growth prospects.

We understand that Alan has taken over vacant structures and invested millions of dollars into the project promising sorely needed jobs.

But we also believe that businesses must be able to grow and develop without inconveniencing their neighbors.

If, indeed, the building’s developer fears vandalism, as he’s stated, we think it’s time he consider hiring private security.

There have been complaints of illegal dumping in the area, and residents have said the closure has triggered an increase of car, truck and tractor-trailer traffic traveling on nearby residential streets. Businesses also have complained that the closure is negatively impacting their customers.

On behalf of all the residents, motorists and others who have been inconvenienced by the “temporary” closure for all these years, council must stop this ridiculous blockade and reopen the street.



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