Instead of considering proposed building size and cost - what to build - which others have done plenty well, let's just consider the leading site candidate - where to build - from the long list of eight, and short list of four finalists.
Of the four finalists, the O'Brien parcel at Commercial and Division Streets scored highest by a significant margin.
|O'Brien Parcel Sale Flyer|
Remember the crash with all the chickens?
|Not a chance for someone in the bike lane|
The wide curves here promote speeding, the signal cycles are long and confusing, some bike lanes disappear, people walking have to cross in multiple phases and with out-of-direction travel, and people in cars have to weave to get to the correct turn or through-lane. It's not tidy and it's not comfortable for a lot of the traveling public.
So if the UGM and the Police settle on either side of Commercial Street here, there's a real chance to thoroughly rebuild the charlie foxtrot that is the Commercial-Front-Division intersection.
During the semi-covert phase of this project between 2011-2013, this site was also identified as a candidate.
|O'Brien Parcel from June 3rd, 2013|
Purely from a transportation standpoint, the O'Brien parcel offers the best chance to reconfigure a problematic intersection. None of the other possible sites do.
By itself the prospect of intersection repair shouldn't determine anything, but it could be a tie-breaker kind of factor.
Still, the O'Brien parcel has also seemed like a strong candidate for housing and a mixed-use development, and a Police Station would not contribute as much to downtown renewal. There are real opportunity costs here.
Based on the long list of eight sites, it doesn't seem like there's an ideal one, and compromise will be necessary.
For previous posts on the Civic Center and Police Station debate, see here.