Monday Morning Magazine this morning hosted Barbara Kennedy for the Richardson Grove upgrade opposition. They met last week in Garberville and may pursue litigation. They have raised a number of issues about the process, specifically that lack of adequate time for public input. She didn’t really address impact on the grove itself, but rather the anticipated increase in traffic once the large trucks are allowed through by the straightening (as opposed to widening) and the impact on local culture as well as corporate takeover of the local economy.
Again, I lean for the straightening for reasons I’ve previously stated here. What the opposition hasn’t really answered for me is how the widening will increase traffic. In theory it may even reduce traffic, by eliminating the off-loading. Basically, I’ve heard from several small business owners who tell me they actually have a better chance of competing with big boxes and chains if they don’t have to pay extra freight charges for the offloading. Certainly WalMart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Kmart, Shop4Less, Safeway, Costco and Target have not been deterred by the road, and small businesses have been going under, so I question the logic.
But I’m open to argument. Certainly there are people who feel very strongly that we should maintain the road as a big-box-resistant bottleneck.