The Oxford City Council and Planning Commission are working to make Locust Street more attractive to retailers and pedestrian friendly. Parking for customers and targeting a retail market for Oxford are two major challenges for the City Council and Planning Commission.
The editorial board of The Miami Student supports the development of Locust Street and believes the Oxford City Council and the Planning Commission are taking a step in the right direction by encouraging retailers to help enrich and expand Oxford and the Miami University community.
The board believes because Locust Street is the geographic center of residential Oxford, many students and community members would benefit from the convenience of nearby stores in a safe, pleasant atmosphere. Many large apartment complexes are located near Locust Street, and the people who live in these complexes would enjoy the ease of an extension of uptown. In addition to retail stores, the board believes moderately-priced chain restaurants, such as Applebee’s or The Cheesecake Factory would fill a void in Oxford.
Because uptown parking is often a hassle, the board recommends a centralized parking lot for the Locust Street stores. The board recommends either creating a lot or a parking garage with handicap-accessible facilities in the Locust Street area to encourage visitors to patronize the businesses.
A major reason development has been slow is due to the perceived lower income of the Oxford community. Although most students do not have much spending money, the board believes more retail and restaurants would be successful on Locust Street. Many students complain the uptown area does not satisfy their needs. The board foresees Locust Street as an answer to these complaints.
Overall, the board understands the need for the Locust Street development and encourages the City Council and Planning Commission to continue planning ahead for the future of Oxford. The board agrees that offering incentives to encourage businesses on Locust Street and hiring a marketing consultant are key steps for the future of Locust Street. The board encourages the City Council and Planning Commission to keep pushing for a pedestrian-friendly environment.