Regarding the Ash Ave. development: Perhaps if the citizens of Macon County understood how the “plan” works they would all agree it’s for the best.
Decatur doesn’t want you to grocery shop on Ash Ave. because it will cause traffic jams (sales tax 1 percent); but two additional restaurants won’t (sales tax 11.25 percent), since foodies will be at eateries north of I-72 enjoying ribs, burgers, tacos or whatever at a 2 percent sales tax discount.
One small detail not mentioned: if a café patron were to faint on the 2 percent savings or a just an ordinary mall walker stubs a toe, emergency care is only one overpass away; unless that is, all of the citizens have decided to go to the Circuit City (oops, not there anymore), or Chipotle or the other new eatery (28-car maximum parking but unlimited line at the stop lights). In that situation, emergency crews from Decatur can easily avoid the Ash Ave. intersection lines and take the scenic route west to Oakland Ave (approximately. 3.55 miles) or east to Pilot exit (approximately. 8.04 miles) reaching the other side of I-72 approximately one mile north of the new Ash Ave. development.
Wait! There is a plan for that too: citizens or visitors have the other option of eating at one of the other eateries favored by Decatur officials, namely a seasonal truck in a parking lot or one of Paco’s places where you can enjoy Mexican-style food with a 2 percent city tax add-on or walk around the transfer house downtown.
Because, after all didn’t we just have this discussion when everyone only wanted to eat at Olive Garden? Shop at Circuit City? I have nothing against Chipotle, Olive Garden or Paco’s, I do have concern about traffic jams and emergency response times.
Renee Sommer, Niantic