Conspiracy Theorist

Congratulations, it’s a parking garage

By Mark Luedtke

Photo: Construction begins at the intersection of Patterson Boulevard and the Great Miami River

I bet if you were free to build anything you want on a prime piece of Dayton real estate – say, the intersection of Patterson Boulevard and the Great Miami River – you would build a business that would attract lots of people from all over to make lots of money. This location overlooking the Mad River merging with the Great Miami, overlooking the fountains, cries out for a thriving business that would bring people downtown every day. One of the last things you would build is a parking garage, because that would squander one of the most beautiful locations in Dayton.

But Dayton’s rulers think they’re smarter than everybody else, so they’re putting a parking garage there. Instead of a thriving business where people could sit on a patio and enjoy Dayton’s most valuable natural resource and natural beauty, they’re building a parking garage nobody will enjoy and will create virtually no wealth. It will just be another centrally-planned eyesore along the river.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. At least they’re not putting a school there. They already put a school on the other side of the river. At least they’re not putting a park there. They put a wealth-destroying park across the street and across the river, too. At least they’re not putting a firehouse there. They put a firehouse at Main Street overlooking the river; squandering another beautiful location.

This parking garage will serve residents and employees of PNC bank in Crawford Hoyings’ Water Street Redevelopment, partially paid for by money stolen from taxpayers. Dayton’s rulers are very generous at giving money stolen from taxpayers to their rich cronies. The Dayton Daily News, parroting Dayton’s rulers, called this “filling a need in downtown Dayton.” Maybe they haven’t noticed half the commercial and residential space downtown is empty. All this building will do is take the riverfront away from the people of Dayton. Because of its central plan, it will attract few to visit, let alone move downtown. Our rulers tell us people are moving downtown, but they’re only moving because they are stealing money from taxpayers and using that money to subsidize their rent, making everybody but the recipients and themselves poorer. Oddly, our rulers and their media propagandists never report that as downtown becomes more impoverished every year.

In a related story, Dayton’s rulers will start their centrally planned Riverscape River Run whitewater project on the Great Miami River this year. The $4 million project is supposed to attract people downtown, as if a 30-second whitewater ride with a view of Dayton’s scenic parking garage, school and firehouse is any attraction. At least the parks are pretty. Since there’s little to do downtown because our rulers bankrupted all the businesses, anybody who does show up will zip in and out of town without spending a dime. This is another waste of money, but at least it was raised voluntarily.

In contrast, the NBA finals featured images of the beautiful San Antonio Riverwalk. The San Antonio River, a creek by Ohio standards, teems with thriving businesses. Hoards of people visit and spend money there all day, every day, creating wealth that benefits everybody. It attracts tourists from around the world.

Dayton could be even better. If Dayton’s rulers freed the river, entrepreneurs would invest their own money and transform it into a world-class attraction and wealth-creation district in no time, but our rulers couldn’t profit off money stolen from taxpayers that way. They aren’t stupid. They’re using their power to legally steal – to greedily advance their personal economic interests. They’ll make lots of money from the perfectly legal kickbacks they receive from these plutocrat-enrichment projects.

Theft of wealth and central planning by Dayton’s rulers are the problem, not the solution to Dayton’s economic woes.

The views and opinions expressed in Conspiracy Theorist are the views and/or opinions of the author and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of the Dayton City Paper or Dayton City Media and are published strictly for entertainment purposes.

Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at

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Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at

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