DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton officials provided updates on their North Main Street corridor plan at a public meeting Wednesday night, discussing ways to make the area safer.
According to city leaders, reducing traffic incidents and crime is crucial to bringing more residents and businesses to the North Main Street corridor.
According to city data, roughly 900 crashes were reported on North Main Street within a three-year period, from 2015 through 2017.
“It’s narrow to begin with, and four-lane traffic is not really safe,” said Joe Weinel, senior engineer for the city of Dayton.
The city partnered with the Ohio Department of Transportation to conduct a traffic study of the North Main Street corridor during a six-month period in 2018 and 2019, said Tony Kroeger, Dayton planning division manager.
The study made several recommendations, including reducing the number of driving lanes from four to two to create room for a center turn lane, a parking lane and wider shoulders, Weinel said.
The study also proposes pull-off areas for bus stops and increased street lighting, he added.
There aren’t concrete plans for the traffic improvements just yet, but the study paves the way for improvements in a few years, Kroeger said.
“Some of us hope that it will force more drivers onto Riverside Drive and cut back on the traffic on Main Street,” said Lindy McDonough, president of the Hillview Neighborhood Association, who also hopes the changes will encourage drivers to slow down.
Dayton police also made a presentation on safety during Wednesday’s meeting. According to Lt. Matt Beavers, ShotSpotter sensors recently installed along the North Main corridor have detected hundreds of gunfire incidents in the first two months, less than one percent of which were also reported by citizens.
As city officials continue their efforts, some residents told 2 NEWS they remain optimistic the neighborhood can make a comeback.
“I know the complications that the city has with trying to get things done, and things take a long time,” McDonough said.
Another big concern residents raised at Wednesday’s meeting was blight, and Kroeger said the city has made progress getting structures torn down and evaluating more for demolition.
Meetings on the North Main Street corridor are held four times a year, Kroeger said.