Friday, April 15, 2011

Washington Post: "Why Wal-Mart doesn't fit my community"

A little late posting this here, but better late than never. From Brightwood resident Kate Ahmann, a letter to the editor:

Robert McCartney believes that Wal-Mart would serve all four of its proposed D.C. locations well. He seems to think that all of the locations are equal in terms of need.

The proposed Georgia Avenue site is four blocks from where I live. Brightwood and Manor Park are stable, middle-class neighborhoods convenient to the Metro and amenities such as Safeway and CVS.

The site is less than two miles from Montgomery County and less than a mile from Prince George's County. It is quite likely that many of the store's employees would hail from those jurisdictions. This we do not need.

The store will draw as well a glut of shoppers from these localities. Increased traffic, including delivery trucks, will flood the neighborhood. This we do not need.

Urban superstores are notoriously difficult to manage - from security to stocking and organization. A large, poorly managed store invites discontent and petty crime. This we do not need.

What my friendly, established neighborhood lacks is places to gather that will attract our regular business and have us engaging in community. We need more restaurants, a coffee shop, a bookstore, boutique stores, doctor's offices and a movie theater. Such small businesses bring life to neighborhoods such as Chevy Chase, Adams Morgan, Woodley Park, and the 14th and U Street corridors. We need the kind of development that will strengthen our community. Wal-Mart will not, and we do not need it.

Kate Ahmann, Washington

Thanks for speaking out, Kate!

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