David Shelton: ‘Real conversation’ needed on future of Registry of Deeds building

Published: 08-23-2023 6:11 PM

I had been waiting to hear when something would be happening with the King Street Registry of Deeds building. After hearing nearly nothing in the news for a few years now it looks like the city will be specifying the development goals in just a few weeks. It seems predetermined that the direction is to privatize this exceptionally central location with a few nice little scraps tossed to the public such as a preference for adding some publicly available parking spaces that could be used by the public at least a few days a week.

Instead, perhaps we could have a real conversation about better and more public uses for a once-in-a-lifetime chance in such a prime downtown location. Top on my mind would be a parking garage. The vast majority of downtown parking is on the south side of downtown. This results in cars that arrive from anywhere other than south of downtown to drive through downtown just to get out of their car. If we provided an easy and convenient place to park we could remove more cars from searching and circling on already crowded roads. Perhaps an even better train station could be incorporated into this structure. Maybe even an intermodal transportation stop, including a bus stop and a covered bicycle parking area so that cyclists could transition from the bike path to walking downtown. There are certainly more potential ideas than simply handing the space over to developers to figure out what’s best for our city.

David Shelton

Florence

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