Some neighbors and north Nashville activists have thrown a NIMBY fit with the recent news that the Eighth Avenue Greyhound bus station, which abuts the massive Music City Center footprint downtown, is moving to a temporary location at the corner of 11th Avenue North and Charlotte Avenue.
The site, a former car dealership, is mostly surrounded by industrial tracts and is catty-corner from the Nashville Electric Service’s massive plot. That is to say, officials with Greyhound and Metro government aren’t exactly plopping the bus depot into the middle of a neighborhood or a thriving business district.
But in blog posts and at public meetings, many have argued that the Greyhound station will be a magnet for crime in their area. According to statistics The City Paper obtained from Metro police, it seems they’re right — at least to some degree.
A comparison of crime statistics stretching from Jan. 1, 2009, through May 27 shows that nearly 17 times more crimes and potential criminal activity were phoned in to Metro police from the current Greyhound location than the area around the proposed new one.
Most of the 314 reported incidents at Greyhound involved public intoxications, thefts and assaults. The 19 incidents at the new site were similar in nature.
Obviously there are environmental factors that influence the statistics, the foremost being that the presence of a bus depot increases the volume and flow of people in the area tremendously. And there are more service-industry businesses near the current depot, increasing the likelihood of interaction between Greyhound patrons and others.
In short, Metro police spokeswoman Kristin Mumford said, an apples-to-apples comparison is difficult and imperfect.
“We don’t really feel like the Greyhound station would be a crime magnet,” Mumford said, adding that Central Precinct officers have been consulting with neighborhood groups, Greyhound and Metro officials along the way.
Mumford also said that environmental factors such as the ones cited above accompany any 24-hour business, not just Greyhound.