After demolition, Youngstown considers abandoning some streets

youngstown ohio street abandonment

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Hundreds of empty houses have been torn down in Youngstown, all in an effort to fight blight.

However, all that demolition is creating a new issue for residents.

Atkinson, Dudley and Vittorio are just a few of the streets in Youngstown that are falling into disrepair. People dump piles of garbage on the streets, and potholes are starting to pop up.

It’s leading the city to talk about abandoning the roads altogether.

“Physically we would just put barriers up right now. Eventually nature would take over, and some of it has started actually,” Youngstown Public Works Director Chuck Shasho said.

It’s not an overnight process. Besides making sure water mains and electric grids are still connected, there would be a legal process to abandoning the roads completely.

“We would have to go through a petition to vacate and the city would give up the right of way to the adjoining property owners,” Shasho said.

At least one councilwoman likes the idea.

“As long as nobody is living there, or has to move out of of their house,”  First Ward Councilwoman Annie Gillam said.

John Horvath lives in the last house on his street. By his estimation, he’s got 40 acres of vacant land beyond.

“I think that’s a good idea. It’s better than us trying to have the street department come and clean it up, because they do,” Horvath said.

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