New digital sign planned at edge of Dayton’s Oregon District

A new digital billboard coming near the rail overpass on South Patterson Boulevard is designed to serve as a gateway into the Oregon District.

The electronic sign, which will be placed by Key-Ads near Smokin Bar-B-Que, is part of the city of Dayton’s efforts to better connect the Oregon Historic District to downtown and the Transportation Garage.

New, brighter lighting has been installed in the Transportation Garage on East Fifth Street near the Neon, which has also upgraded its lighting with a new marquee.

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Some people have been frustrated by what they see as a lack of adequate parking in the Oregon District, but the nearby Transportation Garage is underused by visitors and workers.

The opening of the Levitt Pavilion Dayton later this year is expected to put additional pressure on the parking situation. The city is working to make the garage more inviting and easy to navigate with new signage and improvements.

Key-Ads will install a free-standing gateway sign north of the train tracks by Patterson Boulevard and Fifth Street, said Nick Keyes Jr., vice president of Key-Ads.

“Really, what it will do is carry all the energy from downtown’s growth — with the LED lighting the city garage has done and the other enhancements and accents — it’s carrying that energy into the Oregon,” he said. “It’s really connecting things.”

The digital billboard will have rotating ads but will say Oregon at the top. The sign will have “its own flavor and look,” Keyes said.

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Key-Ads installed a gateway feature on U.S. 35 that says Welcome to Dayton by the Steve Whalen Boulevard interchange.

The city’s “beast” of a parking garage by the convention center has 1,405 spaces, but it typically operates at 25 percent capacity weekdays when there are not special events, according to a parking study. Use is even less during the weekends without major events.

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