Residents vent frustration with trolley poles in their yards

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Residents upset with RTA

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Multiple Westwood residents recently voiced frustration during a city commission meeting over new trolley bus poles being installed in their front yard.

The Greater Dayton RTA is replacing trolley poles along Kammer Avenue that power its electric buses using overhead wire.

The new poles are part of a multi-million dollar upgrade of RTA’s infrastructure in the Westwood neighborhood, said Greater Dayton RTA CEO Mark Donaghy.

But the placement of the new poles has angered some residents, including Kortney Jeter and her mother, Diane Page, who live on the 600 block of Kammer.

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An existing pole is located very close to the edge of the curb at the intersection of Kammer and Lorenz avenues.

But the new pole has been installed by the base of Page’s front steps in the grass.

Jeter said she hopes the RTA will do something to fix the issue. She said it’s unacceptable that the RTA can “come in and put these monstrosities in our yards.”

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Poles were placed in the right-of-way on the yard side of the sidewalk, and the city’s setback requirements determined the pole locations, Donaghy said.

Donaghy said the city has discussed alternatives with the property owner and they may be able to come up with a satisfactory solution. Last week, Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein said there have been a variety of discussions between city staff, the RTA and the neighborhood about alternative ways to meet the transit needs in the area.

But Donaghy said the new pole locations will be a significant improvement over the old wires and poles.

Page, a longtime resident of Westwood, disagrees.

The 64-year-old said the new pole in her yard is a safety hazard and ugly and was installed without her knowledge or feedback. She said it will drag down property values and was done as cheaply as possible.

Page said she did not receive adequate notice about the RTA project. She said she received a mailing that was not addressed to her, and so she did not read it.

But the RTA in a public notice told residents that the new poles would not be installed on their properties, which was false, according to Page. The right-of-way extends several feet into people’s yards, Page said.

Page said the city could have extended the sidewalk to create room for the pole.

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