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12 hours ago

I am trying to spread the word about the need our area has for safe parking.

My name is Kristina Middelstetter. I am one of three owners of Oregon Tails Pet Salon, located at 502 Wayne Avenue.

4 years ago, long before Crafted and Cured, and the Market, and Reza's, we took a chance on an isolated and empty strip of Wayne Avenue and opened our salon. At that time, our only neighbors were crumbling, dilapidated buildings and the Dayton Theater Guild. Now, it is an area that is up and coming. And not to give too much credit to our salon, but I feel as if our success in that area may have prompted others to take a chance on a previously ignored and probably considered shady area.

Our salon has done very well where we are located, but one issue that has plagued us from the very start is parking. We had no street parking, and no lot, when we first opened. We worked with the previous Oregon District Business Association director, Michael Martin, to petition the city to make the strip in front of us legal 2 hour parking. I personally handed out petitions to get them signed. Some of our neighbors ignored it (they already had a lot or didn't seem to be personally invested) but when the area became legal 2 hour parking, everyone benefited, including the "top dog" of our area, The Wheat Penny. On Friday and Saturday nights, the two right lanes on Wayne Avenue are full of Wheat Penny overflow. Luckily, we close around the time they get very busy.

For all the benefits for us and our neighbors the legal parking has brought, we have also fallen victim to the extreme downfalls of street parking that is not labelled at all. I have had two vehicles totaled in front of the salon, and so has my co-owner. We have paid the cost with insurance premiums rising due to claims. We have ridden the bus to the salon while we wait for a replacement vehicle. I see several near hits daily, as drivers, possibly distracted by phones and other things, suddenly realize vehicles are parked, and rush over into the other lane, almost hitting the traffic in the left lane. Our clients get viciously honked at, terrifying their pets and the owners bringing them in.

"Why don't you just stop parking there?" you may ask. I continue parking there because I would much rather a car annihilate my car for the third time than hit a dog that is coming for a fun day at our salon. My car can be replaced. Someone's beloved pet cannot. So, my car is in fact a shield. A shield that is legally parked. But a risk. A risk that yes, I have taken. But a worthy one.

We need signage. We need it badly. After the first "incident", I created a handmade, bright sign out of poster board and hung it at the intersection of Wayne and Cass Street. It simply said, "Legal Parking Ahead. Merge Left." With a huge arrow. And it worked. I watched it in action when I stood outside the salon. There were no near accidents. Traffic flowed better. Nobody laid on their horn as they swerved into oncoming traffic at the last minute. A simple sign alerted them. Someone repeatedly tore my sign down. I kept putting it back up. But, eventually, I realized it would never be left there, so I gave up. I've also hung a sign on the back of my car, and that helped as well. But it caused considerable damage to my car's exterior to apply velcro and glue for the sign to hang on. And it's not a permanent solution.

We absolutely need a sign that warns traffic that they need to get into the left lane. It is hazardous and dangerous to leave it unmarked. It is costly to us. It is costly to the city. It is unfair. It is unfair that the entire area has benefited from our petition to have legal parking, and our help in bringing that area of Wayne Avenue back to life, and we are the only ones who have paid a personal price through destruction of our vehicles. Officers respond and spend time on handling accidents that don't have to be happening, when their time could be well spent somewhere else.

Please, hang a sign. Before a person gets hurt. Before someone's dog gets killed. Before a person gets killed. A simple sign. I have proven that it works with a handmade one. I will do whatever it takes to get a sign put up. Just let me know what to do. I can petition. Every single one of our devoted clients will sign a petition if needed.

Please call me or write back. I will email whoever I need to to get this rectified. It is a personal matter to me, as it is a safety matter and a true blight on an area so up and coming.

Sincerely,

Kristina Middelstetter
Owner, Oregon Tails Pet Salon
937-259-8642 (salon)
937-789-7604 (personal)
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