Sunday, February 18, 2007

Monsey Wal-Mart Fight Gets International Recognition

It has just come to our attention that the struggle against the building of a Wal-Mart supercenter in Monsey has received recognition in Israel. In an article in Haaretz the paper points out that the area's Orthodox community is concerned that the retail giant will disturb the tranquility of this quiet Rockland community; "A Monsey protestor complained that residents would be forced to put bars on their windows if the store is built, in a town where residents don't lock their doors."

Which is exactly the point that we have been making all along, especially in our "Conservative Case Against Wal-Mart." Quiet residential communities have a lot to lose if they are forced to play host to the traffic and transiency that a super center will generate. As a Talmud professor tells Haaretz, "a Wal-Mart store will draw large masses of people, including non-religious Jews ans non-Jews, and that some of these outsiders are likely to damage what he calls the special character of Monsey."

These issues will be underscored in the next few months as the application to build the store begins to wend its way through the Ramapo land-use process. They are, of course, exacerbated by the traffic congestion on the existing roads surrounding the proposed site. This mixture makes the final disposition uncertain at best.