(August 21, 2018, Warren, Ohio) – The Main Street to Thumm’s Project got underway with two public input sessions on Wednesday, August 15 and Thursday, August 16. Both sessions, hosted by the Foundation in partnership with the City of Warren, were facilitated by the Economic Action Group, a local economic development organization managing the project.

A diverse cross-section of Warren stakeholders attended each session where they were invited to share their input on the Main Street to Thumm’s Project (adjacent to David Grohl Alley), which represents the latest development to improve the alleyway connecting Main Street to South Park Avenue.

“We get visitors from all across America and different countries that come to see David Grohl Alley,” said Warren Mayor Doug Franklin at a downtown Warren stakeholder meeting in July, also hosted by the Wean Foundation. “But there are some specific safety issues that were brought to our attention by the stakeholders.” Mayor Franklin spoke about the genesis of the Main Street to Thumm’s Project as a petition to the City of Warren that called for addressing safety concerns of fast-moving vehicular traffic in that area.

During each meeting, a walking tour of the Main Street to Thumm’s Court space culminated in discussions and group activities on what stakeholders want to see. Among the various ideas shared were visibility and lighting, pedestrian mobility, safety and maintenance. Thoughtfully engaging youth and elderly residents around a project that each can take ownership of and enjoy was a recurring theme.

“To give [the youth] an area that allows for self-expression, whatever that may be, would be great,” said east side Warren resident, DeShawn Scott, who runs a business in the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center (TBEIC) located along David Grohl Alley. Scott also spoke of the Project as a bridge to connect the youth and elderly populations, referring to the latter as the ‘wisdom population.’

Next steps for the Project include the Economic Action Group’s compilation of the feedback from the input sessions, followed in the coming weeks by a Call to Artists/Request for Proposals. As host of the public input sessions, Wean Foundation President, Jennifer Roller, views the Foundation’s participation in the Main Street to Thumm’s Project as “an opportunity to continue efforts to envision David Grohl Alley as a welcoming space for the entire Warren community to enjoy.”