Friday, August 18, 2006

Wal-Mart Hearing in the News

In today's Journal News the paper focuses on the two hearings that were held the other day on the proposed Wal-Mart in Monsey. The hearings looked at the environmental as well as the public safety impacts of the planned supercenter. As we have mentioned , the hearings were called by two county legislators who are opposing each other in a September primary to fill the Assemble seat vacated by Ryan Karben.

In response to the low price claims of the store, the Journal's Laura Incalcaterra reports, "...those opposed to the company's efforts said there were far more costs associated with Wal-Mart than just the sticker prices." Foremost among these costs are the traffic impacts along the Route 59 corridor, especially between Kennedy Drive and Rt. 306.

The paper also quotes our friend Abe Stauber who points out that the influx not only threatens pedestrian safety but also the "tranquility of religious observance" for the Orthodox community of Monsey. The paper also observes that the area is already overdeveloped, something that the Wal-Mart store will only exacerbate.

The News also quotes the remarks of Richard Lipsky on the potential impacts of the store on existing supermarkets and small businesses. This point was also underscored by Spring Valley town attorney Bruce Levine who expressed concern over the fate of the multi-million dollar Spring Valley downtown revitalization program.

The most telling testimony of the hearing was given by Brian Ketcham who pointed out that the store would generate minimally 1600 cars during peak hours of operation, and over 150 delivery trucks every day. This in an area where at least four key intersections are at an F level of service.

As the News concludes, and with which we agree, "You can bet that the battle-like those old movie marathons at the drive-in-will go on for a long, long time." We've just begun to fight this one.