Yes, there are MANY things that the City of Dayton needs to work on to attract residents. Problems with crime, public schools, quality of life – these all must be addressed. But since the city is already working on possible two-way street conversions downtown, now is the time to be a leader in one nationwide trend instead of missing another opportunity.
Although Dayton’s suburbs are continuing to grow despite a current national trend of people moving back into cities, Dayton does have a few advantages over the burbs. One of the biggest is the fact that you can get around without the need for a car. No, we are not Manhattan or Chicago, but our city’s downtown was built for pedestrians while the suburbs are built for automobiles. And in a time when $5.00 gasoline is very foreseeable and progressive people are cognizant of the environment and their impact on it – it makes sense for Dayton to capitalize on this advantage and build on it.
In Dayton we already have one of the best bicycle trail systems in the state, and it goes right through downtown. We should be looking at adding bicycle lanes to all of our major streets when converting to two-way – not just one bike lane on one side of the street, but both sides. By doing this, we will see even more bikes in and around downtown than we already do, and we may see more new residents who enjoy the fact that they can bike to work (if not walk). And if the next phase of Riverscape does indeed come to fruition (and I’m told it will), we will see a new bicycle station complete with lockers, showers, bike rentals and bicycle repair services. Imagine if you could get to this bike trail hub from any urban neighborhood in Dayton by using any number of bike lanes that go through downtown… and imagine seeing Dayton as one of the cities with progressive "Complete Streets" programs. Yes, the Wright Brothers (who perfected airplane designs in their bicycle shop) would certainly be proud.
A growing number of states and local governments are rejecting a half-century of transportation practice and demanding that streets accommodate all types of travel, not just automobiles.
The concept of "complete streets"