Thursday, May 1, 2008

Jeff Hill Still An Issue

Micah Brown

Dealing with A Street Turned Shortcut

Members of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, Incorporated are using Jefferson Hill as a short cut as they renovate their house. They hired a contractor to pour gravel half-way down the hill. The gravel was then spread behind the corner house of College Street and E. Union Street to provide easier assess to the back of the fraternity house. This is not the only use for the popular Athens hill.

Whether Ohio University students and Athens residents are walking, running, jogging, sliding, sledding, or paving they are not using it as originally intended – as a street.

Pedestrians are being forced to deal with the growing pains. Ohio University student Kurtis Eyster says “I think that it's dumb putting dirt in here because all the water runs off and if they are going to put grass they need to put drains down the side.” Eyster is not the only one who has noticed the problems.

Watch what John Kotowski, the Ohio University Associate Vice President for Facilities, has to say about Jeff Hill.

Making Something Out of Nothing

Before 2002, Jeff Hill shortened the drive between the university's East Green, to Uptown . The old street began to cause major problems for the city. Athens City Councilman Jim Sands says “Some years ago there was a pretty substantial water main break. It eroded a lot of the soil from under the brick and it allowed the brick to cave in and was strong enough to move some of the brick off the side.”

Athens City Council does not want to spend the $200,000 plus to fix the plumbing and renovate the old street. Blocking it off was the safest and most affordable alternative. To save the cost of hiring workers to fix the pipes, laying down asphalt, and paving the street, the council came up with its most recent idea - a park.

The Park on Jeff Hill

In late 2006 the city put down dirt and hay in order to grow grass and avoid the expensive renovation. The idea worked for a while until the cold weather kicked in.
Athens City Council noticed the unattractive look it gave the area. Some council members hope to create a nice sitting and walking place for residence. They hope to make it the newest local park. "This summer we'll try to grade it off again, get some grass seeded, try to get that done before fall and get a bunch of people walking on it again," said Sands.

1 comment:

LongWinded&Trivial said...

a park, really? let's get a bit more creative Athens City Council. it's a pretty steep hill and i can't imagine anyone comfortably sunning or lunching on it. i graduated from OU in 2001 and trudged up that hill countless times over four years (and drove it) since it provided such convenient and necessary access to uptown. The brick texture was so inherently "Athens" too. i was just back at OU visiting and was severely disappointed at the state of Jeff Hill. The University has spent MILLIONS on other sections of the campus, yet they ignore this small stretch of land and don't help the city? that seems ridiculous. maybe they could have spent less on the light fixtures at the new Baker Center and thrown a few bucks toward new drainage pipes. that would have been my alumni funds preference, but i guess they dont ask us that.