BEAVERCREEK — After months of debate, Beavercreek City Council approved controversial revisions to its bus stop design law Monday night by a vote of five to two.
The focus was safety and ensuring best practices, councilman Brian Jarvis said.
“If something is going to be built in Beavercreek it is going to be built to Bevercreek standards,” he said. “We have high quality standards. You may not be use to that.”
Beavercreek Mayor Vicki Giambrone and Councilwoman Melissa Litteral opposed the new rules, which are to take effect in 30 days. Giambrone questioned the expense of requiring surveillance cameras for stops.
Litteral wondered whether bus stops will be required to be far enough apart in neighborhoods.
At its last meeting, council reduced the distance between bus stops from one mile to a half mile in residential areas.
“I hate to see someone have a bus stop in their backyard,” Litteral said.
Beavercreek has had a bus stop criteria ordinance since 2000.
A bevy of revisions have been proposed since council rejected the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority request to install three bus stops near the Mall at Fairfield Commons in March 2011. RTA had planned six to eight trips a day.
The Federal Highway Administration continues to investigate a civil rights complaint against Beavercreek filed by Leaders of Equality and Action (LEAD), a coalition of 16 congregations in the Dayton area, said administration spokesman Doug Hecox. LEAD claimed in its complaint that the vote rejecting the bus stops discriminated against minorities.
Beavercreek council members have found their actions scrutinized by some in the public. Councilwoman Debborah Wallace said some have taken it too far.
She said members have been threatened with “email blasts” and pickets.
LEAD member Charlene Bayless said members have been urged to contact council members about the ordinance, but making threats has never been part of her group’s tactics to get council to find middle ground.
Mark Donaghy, executive director of RTA, said his agency will decide how to proceed after the federal investigation is complete.
He called changes council has made to the 28 page criteria minor and requirements like surveillance cameras, traffic studies and vehicle turnouts in high traffic area burdensome and overly expensive.
Jarvis and Vice Mayor Jerry Petrak said those requirements are consistent with recommendations from respected transportation agencies and organizations.
“We invented nothing new,” Petrak said. “We are simply implementing what we found in the standards.”
Donaghy questioned that evaluation, saying such standards are for much larger communities than Beavercreek or even Dayton. He also took issue with Jarvis’ claims that such requirements were needed to prevent criminal activities like what occurred at Third and Main streets in downtown Dayton.
“I know businesses who moved out of downtown Dayton,” Jarvis said during the meeting.
Donaghy said Jarvis has never shown him the statistics he has repeatedly cited related to crimes at bus stops.
He said problems at Third and Main have long been resolved and there have never been criminal issues with bus stops in the other 18 communities where RTA has stops including Oakwood, Fairborn, Sugarcreek Twp. and Centerville.
RTA has 10 existing bus stops on Colonel Glenn Highway in Beavercreek.
“I think this is really more about perception than a problem,” he said.
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2384 or arobinson@DaytonDailyNews.com.