Got a call just before lunch today- from Jim DeBrosse at the Dayton Daily News. He was working on a “State of Downtown” piece and was looking for some input/insight.
It will be interesting which pieces he picks for the article- some points I made:
- Downtown is bigger than what most define as “downtown” in my book. I include NCR, UD, MVH, Grandview, DAI, Wright Dunbar business district, 5/3rd Field and the ring Historic Districts including South Park, Oregon District, McPherson Town, St. Annes Hill, etc.
- We need a standardized parking rate/signage system. Also, end in (or diagonal parking downtown). Tax breaks to lots that are improved- higher taxes on scraped, unattended lots. Provide discounts to hybrid vehicles.
- Make it legal to park scooters and motorcycles on wide sidewalks, as long as pedestrian access isn’t blocked (this helps bring more people downtown because they take up less parking spaces).
- Eliminate the Downtown Dayton Partnership and the overpriced Maureen Pero- but keep the ambassadors.
- Eliminate all local Economic Development people- make one group for the region. Cut off ED/GE money to anyone who doesn’t comply.
- Simplify income tax to a county wide tax- one rate, distributed by population and need formula.
- Make RTA rides free (until the buses are full)- fares don’t contribute much to RTA’s budget.
- Stop Sinclairs expansion outside Montgomery County- build a high speed rail connection instead. (Use money from the unneeded Austin road interchange).
- Ease building and zoning requirements on adaptive reuse projects in downtown CBD and historic areas. Eliminate all requirements for providing parking spaces per square foot and let the market equalize and adapt.
This was off the top of my head- and really quick. There are a lot of other things that can still be done.
What ideas do you have?