Businesses, residents upset with new Oregon District parking policy

There are fewer available parking spaces than ever in the Oregon District.

That's because some lots now require people to pay, while others are no longer open to the public at all.

Businesses and customers say they are frustrated and say it’s unfair for people to get their cars towed from lots they have been parking in for years.

Signs are displayed warning people that certain lots are off limits, and there are machines telling people to enter their license plate number to pay for parking.

Josh Goldman, who bartends at Blind Bob’s, said this is costing them customers.

“People are going to be less willing to come out because nobody wants to pay to park,” Goldman said.

Even people who say they’ve been going to the Oregon District for years say the lack of parking makes it very inconvenient. Also, they say that could be risky if they have to walk a long distance to their car.

“The very nature of the Oregon District with the drinking and the types of shops that are here … I think safety is a concern,” said Susan Dohse, of Dayton, who has had her car towed there before. “I do not like parking on the side streets because they are narrow; getting your car damaged. The lighting is not well done.”

People who live near the Oregon District got together this past week to talk about the parking issue.

They are worried this could mean more people parking in their neighborhoods, which could mean less parking for residents themselves. The Oregon District Historical Society says it hasn’t seen many problems yet.

“We want to get ahead of the game,” said Jeffery Gonya, a trustee with the Oregon District Historical Society. “We want to get out in front of this and get a plan together and just move on in peace instead of some of the arguments we’ve had in the past.”

An additional problem some say is that customers who visit the area may not be aware that they can’t park in certain lots, especially if they see other cars there.

“This is Dayton, Ohio,” Goldman said. “There is plenty of parking, if nothing else. This is a greedy, bad move.”

Business owners say the best thing you can do is ask them if the lot you intend to park in is open to the public.