What's best for Gainesville?

Published: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 at 11:33 p.m.

Reading Ron Cunningham's Jan. 18 column and noticing a letter on the same day by David Thomas indicates the seriousness the City Commission really has about calming traffic in the city.

The commissioners, sitting as part of the MTPO, want to narrow the roads, install traffic circles to reduce traffic, and to make it easier to drive in Gainesville.

But it also wants to allow Wal-Mart to build a supercenter and close existing store across from what will soon become a vacant Gainesville Mall when Kash 'N Karry closes. Wal-Mart also plans to close the Sam's Club store soon and move it to a new, larger location.

This is great for Wal-Mart, but is it good for Gainesville? I don't think so.

Why is the city going to spend millions to revitalize University Avenue and Main Street when it is letting 13th Street become a blight of vacant shopping centers.

It actually will not surprise me that Wal-Mart ends up getting what it wants. I have noticed that local businesses are doing everything they can to help the city with its vision for the city by following the regulations concerning building location on the property, lighting and other requirements.

I have also noticed a flagrant disregard for city regulations by large out-of-town corporations and using any means possible to get around a regulation. The city does nothing when this happens.

I hope our City Commission will consider what is best for Gainesville as it reconsiders Wal-Mart's request to build on 53rd Avenue and finally decide if they are serious about doing something to help the traffic congestion in Gainesville.

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