Letter: Pedestrian desert

Sunday, September 10, 2017
Pedestrian desert

It seems like only yesterday the city council was holding hearings on the so-called “Loudon Road Diet.”

Opponents to the diet argued there that the diet wouldn’t be able to handle the volume demands. They argued there was too much retail and too many cut-outs. The council, after approving the diet just a few years earlier, waffled. While authorizing repaving of the current roadway, councilors gave clear instructions to city staff: reduce the number of cutouts and develop a long-term plan.

City staff promised to look at the cutouts and indicated that a long-term plan involved acquiring easements or setbacks with any new development project.

Recently, I learned of a proposed plan to develop the parcel between Chipotle and Dick’s. The plan includes five new box stores, one with a drive-thru capacity; a new cut-out; and a sidewalk adjacent to the street with parking adjacent to the sidewalk. In other words, the proposed plan is a pedestrian desert and goes against everything the council said it wanted for any future development.

How can this be happening, especially when there is a vacant mall right across the street? Why aren’t we reading about this in the Monitor?