Thursday, November 13, 2008

Austin Road and the I-75 "Linear City"

The forthcoming Austin Road interchange is once again in the news.

The Dayton Daily News reports that local political bigwig John Husted (formerly speaker of the Ohio house, now state senator) has suggested that the $2M Ohio capital budget line item for the downtown Ball Park Village (or BPV for short) project be reallocated to a ice hockey arena/event center proposed for property at the interchange.

Proposed by RG Enterprises, who's principle has contirbuted $15,000 to Husted's campaign committee. This fact was omitted from the news report, though it might not be relevant given the volume of large contributions to Husted; $15K isn't pin money, but it's just one of many big checks to Husted.

It is somewhat questionable as to why an Ohio capital budget line be set aside for a suburban development in one of the growth areas in Ohio. Even if BPV is in trouble the money could be used for the adjacent Tech Town development, which is viable and, in fact, already under construction.

The discussion at Dayton Most Metro and the Esrati post drift more to the necessity of the interchange itself and it's impact on Dayton city. Realistically, center city Dayton is fairly insignifigant as a buisness center (around 7% of the Montgomery County workforce) so Austin Road won't suck much life since there isn't much left to suck.

The competition is more with the other I-75 interchanges between I-675 and I-275 which, taken together, comprise an sort of linear city: Daytonnati or Cin-Day, take your pick. So it's intended to be a play for growth coming up from Warren & Butler counties.

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