Maumee Ave. already is closed
because of a bridge project, while access to the Anthony
Wayne Trail via Emerald and City Park are shut
down because of delays to the ongoing replacement of a bridge
over a busy east-west railroad line.
That means three major access points to the area from the AW
Trail and Broadway St. are now closed to traffic—all at the same
time. The only way in or out of the neighborhood where Latins
United and SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church are
located is from downtown Toledo via Erie St.
“People are having trouble getting to there now,” said Chevo
Torres, president of Latins United. “The events we’re
having now, people are asking ’How do we get over there?’ We’re
really worried about it. Why can’t they wait until those two
bridges are done?”
Both groups hosted a meeting Friday evening, March 8, 2019
at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church attended by about
15 people. Father Juan Molina told the crowd his church
is losing $500 per week, money that is desperately needed by a
congregation and a church that already operates on a bare-bones
budget. Toledo City Council member Peter Ujvagi, a police
representative, and highway project officials also attended the
meeting to hear concerns and answer questions.
Torres blames “a lack of communication” and bad timing from city
and Ohio Dept. of Transportation (ODOT) officials for the
uncertain situation. He hopes neighborhood leaders can get city
engineers to make whatever adjustments are necessary to reopen
more access to the neighborhood.
Retired city prosecutor Arturo Quintero will act as a
go-between among the parties involved. A follow-up meeting is
planned Friday, March 15, 6 p.m., at the church. The public
is invited to attend.
Right now, Emerald Ave. near I-75 is scheduled to be
closed until sometime in November. But SS. Peter and Paul
hosts its annual August festival and Latins United is
teaming up with El Corazón de México Ballet Folklorico
for a September street festival. Attendance at both annual
fundraisers could suffer greatly without better access for
“It is important to work in communion with the community,” said
with the city’s transportation department told the gathering the
Anthony Wayne Trail work would be finished in November at
the soonest, but there was the possibility of opening a
right-hand turn only option at City Park Ave., once road
construction reached a point in July when traffic lanes would be
flipped to the other side of the median.
Stuckey stated the Maumee Ave. bridge is scheduled to be
completed in August. But both projects are dependent on getting
enough “track time” from the railroad to complete work. So far,
Norfolk-Southern Railroad has run its trains on a fairly
regular schedule without many alterations.
Another possibility, according to Stuckey, is to maintain one
lane of traffic on Emerald Ave., with a traffic light
controlling the flow of vehicles in either direction. But ODOT
engineers would have to be convinced that is a viable option, he
“The other issue is funding. We turn this money away now, they
don’t save it for another day for us. That’s why some of this
had to move forward all at the same time,” said Stuckey. “Once
the money just kind of dropped in our lap, we had to go.”
Questions over emergency response have been addressed. The
Toledo Fire Dept. already had made arrangements to access an
emergency-only route at City Park from the Anthony Wayne trail
to get fire trucks and ambulances to calls in that neighborhood.
Toledo police now plan to make similar arrangements. Otherwise,
response times would be slow at best if emergency vehicles had
to go downtown first to gain access to the neighborhood.
Parishioners and Latino community leaders also advocated for
better signage offering detours and warnings that turning onto
certain side streets would lead to a dead end. Out-of-town
parishioners who don’t know the city streets often attend Mass
at SS. Peter and Paul.
“Is there any possibility of suspending some of the work? If
not, is there any possibility of speeding up some of the work?”
asked councilman Ujvagi during the meeting. “What are the
options that we have? This is something I’m going to keep
working on until we at least alleviate the problems that we