From March on, Apple Valley business owners have been up in arms over preliminary plans to convert Cedar Ave into a highway which would include some different ideas for how mass transit would flow alongside regular traffic especially during rush hour.
The Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce met with Dakota County officials to try and persuade them to consider the “damage” they would do to businesses if they altered the way Cedar currently is (congested and miserable, especially on days with any type of precipitation — frozen or otherwise) to something that was more traffic friendly (anything is better than what it is like now — a vast parking lot caused by long traffic lights). In the Star Trib article linked above, there were some comments from other businesses such as Old Chicago and Valley Pontiac Buick GMC which are joining 15+ others under the group name of “Save Downtown Apple Valley” (if someone wants to register savedowntownapplevalley.com for me, I’ll be happy to have the domain point here — hey, after all it has a much better ring to it than clappingforcluelessness.com). I couldn’t be more pleased because I wrote up a little something before about how the Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce President agrees that the intersection of Cedar and 42 is the real Apple Valley downtown area and not 153rd and Galaxie. I’m so glad other businesses agree with me. I just wish that the City Council would too!
Now, while I agree that changing the traffic patterns, while excellent for the residents, may cause some problems for local businesses, I personally couldn’t care less if Old Chicago suffers. I thought what Michael Regnier, a regional manager for Old Chicago, said was hysterical and even made me seriously wonder if he had ever been to the Apple Valley Old Chicago or put any thought into what he was saying to the Star Trib when he said:
“We could lose our patio, or have buses screaming along 10 feet away from it,” said Michael Regnier, regional manager for the Old Chicago restaurant chain, with a unit located near the intersection. “And if we lose access points, it’ll kill us. We might as well open a heliport to fly people in. If it takes too long to get to us, they’ll go to Famous Dave’s instead.”
Now, I don’t know about any of you but their patio is already 10 feet away from the road where buses and cars already “scream by” on a daily basis — especially when people attempt to run the cautions to avoid being stuck in the Cedar/42 “parking lot”. Also, Old Chicago has no direct access off of Cedar or 42 so people have to drive to 147th and Glazier or Garrett and Glazier and then drive two+ blocks to get to the location. Then to go so far as to say that people would rather go to Famous Daves instead (who don’t serve pizza or beer on tap and might require waiting at yet another traffic light) is just fucking ridiculous. If anything, those people would instead go to Applebee’s or BW3 instead of coming back around to Old Chicago being that those two establishments offer beer on tap and are closer to the intersection of 147th and Glazier… If people are getting to Old Chicago now, they’ll get to it in the future too. Let’s cut out the poorly thought out comments shall we?
I believe that the County, the City and the businesses need to meet somewhere in the middle on this one. We obviously need much better transit options and much less congestion but we also need to support business owners, especially the local ones that are located in Times Square shopping center like Bucky’s Diner and Osaka to name only two.