The look of Dayton’s streetscapes for the next 20 years is being shaped by an eight-month-long planning project launched last week aimed at making bicycles, pedestrians and traffic blend together.
It’s all about buses, bikes, motor vehicles and other forms of transportation and how to enhance what’s already here.
Another factor has gained momentum over the years, too, and that’s how to usher people into healthier lifestyles that include biking and walking to work, school, libraries and houses of worship.
The strategic plan, which is going by the name Dayton Transportation Plan 2040, seems to already be underway in some locations.
Brown and Warren streets near the University of Dayton are examples of re-engineering to allow easier bike and pedestrian travel.
Cities are making headway at creating more bike-friendly routes. Proposals submitted to the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission for new bike routes have come from Beavercreek to enhance Indian Ripple Road from Harbert Drive to Granger Hall Road and from Marydale Drive to Grange Hall Road and from the city of Dayton for Robert Drive from West Third to West Fifth streets and for West Third Street from Bank to Williams streets.
In May, the Bike Share Link program launched in Dayton with kiosks and low-slung green street bicycles. Users charge a credit card and provide a phone number to buy 24-hour memberships for $5.
Stations are concentrated downtown with outer stations stretching from the Wright Dunbar neighborhood to St. Anne’s Hill and from McPherson Town to the University of Dayton. Link has 24 stations and a fleet of more than 200 bikes.
Cities that accommodate bicycles and pedestrians are draws for choice-minded younger people, advocates say. Economic development and vitality should follow.
Eugenia Martin, hired by the city as a consultant on the plan, said the “complete streets” concept means thoroughfares that accommodate biking and walking.
It also has great economic development and lifestyle advantages - keeping people more fit and trim and enhancing emotional health that comes with a healthier lifestyle.
John Hayward, 45, of Dayton, attended the first citizen planning session with his daughter Kayleigh, 11. He said traffic should be slowed down, especially on main routes where school children mix with motor vehicles on their way to school.
“I’d like to see mixed-use roadways, taking a four-lane to three lanes and widening for bikes and pedestrians,” he said.
Kenneth Arnold, 46, said the plan is coming at the right time as cities become more popular destinations.
Preferences seem to be in the direction of buying local and partaking in what neighborhoods have to offer, he said. “People will be moving back to cities,” he said. “Everyone knows this.”
The final plan to be submitted to the Dayton City Plan Board in summer 2016. Burton Planning Services, LLC is the project consultant.
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