Thursday, December 06, 2007

Welcome to the machine...

Some people are concerned about the Wegmans coming to Columbia and some of these concerned people have put up a website and sent out flyers to express their concerns and perhaps convince others to share in them.

Actually, cutesiness aside, Responsible Growth for Columbia's main gripe about the Wegmans is not so much the store itself or even its impact on existing grocery stores and village centers, but rather the shoppers who'll junk up our byways. They believe the store -- which, ironically, was praised as the epitome of "responsible development" by others in the past -- conducted a flawed traffic study and consequently proposed ineffectual traffic mitigation measures. I'm not going to argue either side, but if you want to hear my officially sanctioned take, the folks at RGC can, in a roundabout way, put you in touch with me.

I'm more interested in who's behind this fledgling group. Of themselves, their mostly-under construction website says:

We started out as just a couple of concerned neighbors and friends in the Owen Brown Village, and have grown to include small business owners, residents of Columbia from across all Villages.


Hmm. Anyone know anything more about them? I haven't seen their name anywhere except on their limited-run flyer (which didn't come to my house) and website-in-progress. Before you think this is some sinister attempt to silence critics of The Man, let me say that this is purely about my own curiosity and academic interest in the dynamics of community organizing and activism. Trust me, I don't care enough about Wegmans either way to get too wrapped up in it. After all, my grocery store allegiances are clear.

Anyway, what say you about the Wegmans? Good? Bad? Too much traffic? Too much food?

12 comments:

angry voter said...

I don't really care about Wegmans but I do care about too much traffic. And from what I have read about this proposal, the traffic study ignored key intersections. Sounds like very poor planning to me. I am sorry to see that County Executive Ken Ulman is going back on his anti-big box promises. Seems like big developer money talks around here. He lost my vote!

Anonymous said...

Anyone care to guess what other development document of late also overlooked some intersections within its study area?

B. Santos said...

Gee, I don't recall either candidate being anti-big box during the election thirteen months ago. Most of the anti-development campaigning was directed at downtown Columbia. So far, Re-Grow Co has not filled in the details, but I am glad they have taken an interest.

chris said...

The Wegmans is going to be in the Snowden River big box shopping district, correct?

So people are upset that a "big box" store is being built and the traffic caused by it is going to make it difficult to go shopping at other big box stores?

B. Santos said...

I am waiting for Re-Gro Co to provide specifics on the traffic report, but something to consider, at 160,000 sq ft, the Wegmans will be big enough to put both Lowes (116,000 sq ft) and most of home depot (approx 50,000 sq ft) inside it.

Tom said...

Is the same group of people who passed out a very misleading flyer a couple of months ago? They were never identified.

Dave Wissing said...

"So people are upset that a "big box" store is being built and the traffic caused by it is going to make it difficult to go shopping at other big box stores?"

Chris, that was hilarious...!

Cindy said...

There are problems with the master plan traffic report and now this grocery store. I agree, I'm tired of Ulman, hes a push over.

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