By Scottsdale Watchman
You may have heard of a landmark development for the southern edge of downtown Scottsdale called Museum Square. It would replace the old Loloma Transit Station, currently an abandoned concrete jungle with tumbleweeds rolling through it.
Museum Square would include a new hotel, a well-designed residential component and a large new community square for public events. It’s a win-win-win for the city, its residents and downtown businesses, including The Museum of the West and Stagebrush Theater. We’ve written about it extensively here and here.
Reaction to Museum Square has been resoundingly positive. People from across the political spectrum and from all parts of town are excited and ready for it. Nonetheless, the one criticism that has been lobbed at it is the following: “This development will increase traffic at a time when downtown Scottsdale isn’t prepared to handle thousands more drivers.”
We can’t argue with the fact that driving in downtown Scottsdale is sometimes headache-inducing. But, isn’t it better that way than crickets?
In a recent trip generation study for the project that compared the traffic generated by the former bus station with the traffic that would be generated by Museum Square, some impressive results were discovered.
It found that Museum Square would generate 1,034 FEWER trips on a weekday, equating to approximately 25 percent fewer trips than the old bus depot. In the morning peak hour, it would generate nearly 30 fewer trips, a reduction of traffic by 12 percent. Finally, Museum Square would generate 196 fewer trips in the evening peak hour, which is 44 percent less than the traffic the bus depot generated. Parking is another issue that has understandably been raised by some, but there’s good news on that front too. However, we’ll leave that topic for another time.
A bus depot carcass whose only resident these days are the tumbleweeds or the well-thought out and well-designed Museum Square? That’s the choice. And, fortunately, it’s one of those projects that when good questions are asked, even better answers can be found.