Oregon District businesses OK shuttle plan

UPDATE @ 7:55 p.m. July 29

Oregon District Business Association members tonight approved a plan to create a weekend parking and shuttle program.

The group will now appoint a team to work on a more detailed plan for shuttle stops, signage and marketing. The group hopes to have the shuttle up and running on Sept. 1.

FIRST REPORT, July 27

Attracting more patrons to Dayton’s Historic Oregon District has created a parking problem. Now, a new proposal aims to open up more space and draw even more people to the entertainment district.

The plan would allow Oregon District employees to park free at the Transportation Center next to the Convention Center. It has ample parking on Friday and Saturday nights. Customers would benefit, too. The plan says they would get a discount of $3 to park in the parking garage.

Amy Haverstick, owner of Jay’s Seafood Restaurant, says she’s thrilled with the success of the downtown area, and acknowledges the parking problem.

“It’s been difficult for my patrons on Friday and Saturday evenings, and during the week,” she said. “The parking lot fills up very quickly.”

Michael Martin, president of the Oregon District Business Association, has come up with a plan which offers more parking, includes a free shuttle, and is designed to draw even more people to the area.

The business association would pay nearly $35,000 for the shuttle’s first year.

“To be able to move those folks around, get them to understand what ele is in the district, and experience that and enjoy that,” he said.

“I think a shuttle is nice,” said Centerville resident Sabrina Cox. “You don’t always want to walk in the dark to your car when you’re parked far away.”

Nick Kersey of Dayton agrees it’s a good idea. “I think it’ll bring more people downtown and it’ll make plans a little easier.

The idea is still in the planning stages. Members of the Oregon District Business Association will vote on the proposal on Wednesday. If it passes, the target start date is Sept. 1.

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WHIO’s Lauren Stephenson provided reporting for this story.

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