Of course, the devil as always is in the details, with this type of rendering it is difficult to tell what the materials are. However, at first look it is nice, doesn’t make one recoil in horror. There’s a short list of nitpicks as always: A rather blank wall along the Service Road. I won’t go on about saving the Engle Tire Building, but it is always annoying to not have a net gain on the vacant lot scoreboard. I’d prefer to see taller buildings along the Service Road, but there is still plenty of developable space.
Some good things: The proposed building fits the lot, no surface parking (the school has surface parking off-site). There will be new trees added. A positive use (a school) replaces a less desired use (auto service).
Now, let me use this as an example of a universal problem in this City, the random closure of sidewalks:
This is something that is on the radar of the Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Commission, but in this case, I feel it should have been common sense. As the Engle Tire Building is being demolished, and one could assume through the duration of construction, the sidewalks on site are simply closed. There is no sign further up Broadway at the closest available crosswalk warning pedestrians of this, there is no attempt to create a way for pedestrians to pass through, or safely cross at the closure. And along the Service Road it is especially egregious as that is the only sidewalk.
View UCAP Sidewalk closure in a larger map
The closure of the Service Road sidewalk forces pedestrians to either scurry between the site fence and high-speed traffic on the Service Road, or endure a block long detour. The City does not require accommodations for pedestrians when sidewalks are closed, so no one provides any. It would be simple to require a barrier to allow for safe passage. The fact that this work is being done on behalf of a school in a school zone makes it disappointing that no attention was paid to this issue.