Kevin Riley: DDN Editor, a little late to the party on Downtown Dayton

I’m glad Kevin Riley finally started reading, he’s just starting to get a grasp on what I’ve been advocating for years (the redefining downtown was in my campaign lit the first time I ran – back in the late 80’s)

These three issues are part of the solution, but, maybe the disbanding of the Downtown Dayton Partnership and removal of the Special Improvement District tax should also be considered?

Redefining downtown. We usually consider the core blocks around Third and Main streets as downtown. The partnership is floating boundaries that would include a much larger area, stretching to the University of Dayton and this newspaper’s office to the south, and to the Wright-Dunbar neighborhood to the west.

A parking study. A common complaint is the difficulty of parking downtown and the city’s aggressive ticketing at meters. One solution might be the creation of a “parking authority” to enhance both availability and management.

Downtown’s “value proposition.” A committee is looking at developing an explicit statement about what downtown should offer and what it should be, with a particular eye toward employers. (In the interest of full disclosure, I’m serving on this committee.)

Kevin Riley: Downtown too important to slip off radar.

After all, the SID tax raises the cost of doing business downtown, which has to be a hinderence. Other possible solutions:

  • Relaxing building codes for mixed use and for renovations to allow for more affordable adaptation.
  • Reevaluating zoning codes that call for parking within a certain radius- realizing that Downtown should be the ultimate walkers paradise.
  • Adopting end in parking on our wide streets to double the number of parking spaces available. Also, allowing scooters and motorcycles to park free on sidewalks where they won’t impede pedestrians- cutting down on need for more parking lots.

The constant perception that Downtown is failing is only true when you look at the micro downtown instead of the macro downtown. UD, MVH, Grandview are all doing well. NCR has left the building so to speak, with very little to be expected other than their final farewell as all the c-suite moves off to NYC as soon as possible.

The real thing missing to solve Downtown’s problems- is a City Commission that suburbanites don’t laugh at. But, of course, that’s on us- the voters (and a little on the Dayton Daily News for endorsing the losers we now have running the show).

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