$1M in funds expected for Dayton Mall area project

The funds would help finance the Lyons Road Pedestrian Access, a $1.55-million plan in Miami Twp. to improve walkways on Lyons and Ohio 741.

The project has been recommended to receive $1,059,390 in federal funding and Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Brian Martin said he is “confident” it will win state approval.

The project is planned to start in fiscal year 2019-20, but may begin sooner, officials said. The proposal addresses weaknesses often mentioned about the mall’s surrounding area and should fit in with that district’s master plan, said Miami Twp. Planning and Zoning Director Chris Snyder.

“This has definitely been a needed connection for some time,” said Snyder, who is also working to facilitate the mall area plan. “There has been a lot of discussion about the need for additional pedestrian accessibility within the mall plans. So I think this meets one of those goals.

“We think this is a connection we can definitely work with and (goes) through areas that are relatively stable and otherwise unlikely to change themselves in the next few years,” he added.

The work would be funded by Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program. CMAQ was implemented to support surface transportation projects, and other related efforts that contribute air quality improvements and provide congestion relief, according to its website.

The Lyons project will include pedestrian sidewalk access along the south side of Lyons Road running east and west between Byers Road and Ohio 741, according to the MVRPC’s website. It would then continue 1,200 feet north from Lyons along the west side of Ohio 741 and connect with existing sidewalks.

Officials will study the possibility of including access to the regional bike path, but constraints may eliminate that concept, Snyder said.

“Certainly, we’d like to tie in with the regional bike way system,” he said. “But that’s just something we’ll have to evaluate further as we get more in depth with the engineering analysis.”

The MVRPC’s recommendation is an early windfall for the township, which rejoined the commission last year after a multi-year absence, township officials said.

“There are a lot of projects that are in the pipeline for the MVRPC, so we knew we had to get in line,” said township board of trustees President Doug Barry. “We just didn’t realize that ours was going to be expedited as quick as it has been.

“We understand that there are still some additional steps to take as part of the funding process. But this is a great start and very encouraging for the community,” according to Barry.

Upon formal notification from regional planning, Miami Twp. will begin talks with the Ohio Department of Transportation, Snyder said. Depending on the outcome of those talks, preliminary design and engineering work may commence, he said.

If there are problems with other projects scheduled ahead of it, work on the Lyons project could “absolutely” begin sooner, assuming its preliminary work is completed, Martin said.

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