Bike lanes coming to Exchange Street — UA volunteers will help build them


Members of the campus and Akron communities are invited to volunteer for the upcoming Hands On Exchange project. With assistance from city of Akron staff and technical consultants, volunteer crews will help build bike lanes on Exchange Street between Aug. 11 and Aug. 15.

This “hands-on” project is being made possible by funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It will demonstrate how Exchange Street, which borders the south side of campus, could transform into a complete street — one designed to meet the needs of all users — pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. The project is typical of a growing urban design movement that focuses on using small, scalable interventions to improve the livability of towns and cities.

Only temporary materials will be used to build the bike lanes. A full redesign of East Exchange Street between Arc Drive and Fountain Street is planned in 2021.

Community input sought

“This project will allow us to gather feedback from residents, students, businesses, pedestrians and partner agencies before permanently redesigning Exchange Street into a more functional, safe, accessible and valuable corridor that meets the needs of all users,” says Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan.

With a process that has so much citizen involvement, “the new bike lanes will showcase the power of civic engagement, resulting in a public space designed with and for people,” adds Kyle Kutuchief, Akron program director for Knight Foundation. 

“We have a strong interest in enhancing our Exchange Street front lawn and our students’ access to the life and community that surrounds campus,” adds Kim Cole, UA’s vice president of development. “This project will be a great step in that direction.” 

Volunteer slots are available in two-hour increments between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Volunteers are directed to the check-in tent at 354 East Exchange St., just west of the intersection of Exchange and South Union streets. Here’s the schedule:

  • Team Prep Session, Aug. 10, 6:30p.m., InfoCision Stadium, second floor.
  • Build Days, Aug. 11-15, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., volunteers to meet at Tent on Exchange and South Union streets.
  • Bike Party Celebration, Aug. 17, 7 to 10 p.m., 354 East Exchange St.

Parking for volunteers during the project is made available free of charge by the University in Lots 6 and 9 on Exchange Street.

To learn more about the project, sign up to volunteer, or to take our survey, visit Hands on Exchange online.