R-1 Lincoln lot littered with tree branches, glass

Jinae West

Mess unnoticed by Parking Services

Shards of glass and broken tree limbs remained in the R-1 Lincoln parking lot behind the Lincoln Building this week after a period of neglect.

Prior to being brought to his attention Wednesday, parking maintenance supervisor John Belfiore was unaware of a large downed tree limb that hung over the lot’s chain-link fence. The debris had gone unnoticed for the past two weeks.

Because the tree is located on the other side of the fence, on Chipotle’s property, Belfiore said he was unsure whose responsibility it was to remove the downed limb.

“This is going to be Chipotle’s responsibility, and I’m going to contact the manager,” Belfiore said after surveying the damage.

When downed trees fall on the university’s property, Belifore said Parking Services calls the grounds department for removal using heavy machinery.

“We look at things. If we see a problem is reported, we clean up glass and debris,” he said.

Regarding the broken glass and tree limbs in R-1 Lincoln, Belfiore said they should’ve been picked up.

“If there’s glass and we know, it’s picked up there right on the spot,” he said.

Belfiore said Parking Services employees check the lots around campus on a daily basis, though R-1 Lincoln doesn’t always merit top priority.

“We’re all over campus,” he said. “However, some of the more out-of-the-way (parking lots) we won’t get to every day.”

Before going to check on the downed limb, Belfiore said he hadn’t been to the R-1 Lincoln parking lot recently.

Larry Emling, Parking Services manager, said broken glass is not uncommon in that area.

“As soon as we get notified about something like broken glass, we respond to it,” Emling said. “We wouldn’t just let it go if we were aware of it.”

Amanda Hinds, junior information design major, said she regularly parks in R-1 Lincoln, calling it the best kept-secret at Kent State but one that could be cleaner.

“There’s a lot of trash in this lot,” she said. “I think it goes neglected because a lot of people don’t know about it. I’m here from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Franklin, and you’d think I’d see someone.”

Grounds manager Heather White said groundskeepers picked up trash in the parking lot, including broken glass, after the Sept. 14 high-wind storm.

“Most of the time (the groundskeepers) do get glass, but I do know in this instance, it did get spread out by foot and vehicle traffic, so we had a sweeping machine go through it,” White said.

“Any time students see something, whether it’s glass in a lot or a hanging tree branch, they can just call our general number (at Campus Environment and Operations), and someone will direct it to the right people.”

Hinds said she had seen downed limbs in other areas of the parking lot, which were eventually removed, but initially didn’t notice the hanging tree limb by the fence.

“I’m glad you brought it to my attention because I won’t park over there,” she said. “How safe is that?”

Contact buildings and grounds reporter Jinae West at [email protected].