Dayton to close alleys — not streets — to disrupt crime

The city of Dayton has scratched a proposal to close streets in east Dayton to disrupt crime — now saying the city wants to avoid disrupting transit service.

The city, however, still plans to install concrete barriers in some alleys to try to combat drug activities and prostitution.

Residents of the Burkhart neighborhood had talked with the city and supported closing several streets in the neighborhood, mostly south of East Third Street.

The Dayton Daily News reported on this information, which was shared with Dayton city commissioners at their recent special meeting.

EARLIER: Dayton plans to block some streets, alleys to help fight crime

But the city decided it will not close the streets after hearing about the potential hardships that could create to the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority and the Dayton Public Schools, said Dayton police Major Joseph Wiesman.

Buses need to be able to pick up and drop off residents, especially individuals with disabilities, and putting up barriers could make it impossible for transit providers to deliver those services, he said.

But the city plans to install temporary concrete barriers in some alleys in the general area between South Garfield and South Jersey streets.

The new barriers won’t impact transportation and bus service and shouldn’t even disrupt trash pick up, Wiesman said.

Many people “cruise the alleys” near East Third Street looking for prostitutes or to buy and sell drugs, and the new barriers will disrupt that traffic and activities, Wiesman said.

The new barriers are part of a “place-based” crime-fighting strategy implemented by the Dayton Police Department.

RELATED: Dayton police to target ‘micro areas’ of violent crime

The new strategy uses a package of city services from a variety of departments to try to reduce crime. The collaboration is between police, housing, waste collection, street maintenance, planning and other departments.

Police focus on enforcing laws, but the city also may try to fight crime by demolishing blighted structures that are used for prostitution or drug use and evicting criminals from housing.

The city may add lighting to increase security in high-crime areas.

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