Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A Massive Proposal

Under the sub-title “Wal-Mart Supercenter could stress Valley, traffic, stores, people” the Rockland Journal News editorializes against the planned Suburban Supercenter we talked about yesterday.

Due to poor planning and inadequate infrastructure, the road where Wal-Mart wants to build is simply inappropriate for a 215,000 sq. ft. Wal-Mart, the paper says. They point to the local mayor’s concerns:

But Mayor George Darden is worried. A Wal-Mart Supercenter is planned at the former Rockland Drive-In Theater in Ramapo's Monsey hamlet, next to Kennedy Drive, and the mayor is concerned about the effect on area businesses and a further worsening of traffic in the busy Route 59 corridor.

"It's already impossible to go down Route 59 there," Darden told reporter Sulaiman Beg. "I think it's the wrong place and the wrong time. It's not a good idea."
Similar to the situation in Staten Island, the elected officials and residents of Rockland County are concerned with their quality of life and are questioning whether adding a store that will generate over 1,000 peak hour cars is appropriate for a crowded area already saturated with strip malls. Also like Staten Island, the community sees better uses for the plot that Wal-Mart wants to build on:

Darden said he would like to see a passive park at the site instead, a good idea considering this section between Route 59 and the Old Nyack Turnpike is largely built up with multi-family housing approved by Spring Valley, as well as numerous shopping strips.
We agree with Mayor Darden and especially considering that the land right next to the proposed Wal-Mart is state owned and has been promised to the community for parkland. While certain officials will disingenuously tout the tax revenue this supercenter will generate (the supercenter would replace a regular Wal-Mart so how much new tax revenue will actually be generated?), there needs to be proper planning and consideration of traffic and quality of life issues.

The editorial ends:

Additional drainage and traffic studies are supposed to be in the works, and the proposal will go before the Planning Board for a general discussion at some pointy.

This proposal needs more than a "general" discussion.

It requires full input from Ramapo, its Comprehensive Plan designers, Spring Valley and urban renewal officials, residents and the New York State Department of Transportation. If the land can be saved for a park, that would be best.

If not, scale this proposal way back, for it would affect too many adversely.
We would say that the project needs to be scaled back entirely for its adverse impacts won’t be mitigated until Wal-Mart is out of the picture.