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Why I'm Rooting For Wal-Mart

extracted from a thread on austinist, with links for some background:



I hate Wal-Mart too, and wish somebody else wanted to move in. They don't.

But I hate these neighborhoods even more. They:

1. Ruined the city's most important route for commuting bicyclists, costing the entire city a million bucks in the bargain). Their reward for screwing all of us? Brand new sidewalks at another couple hundred grand.

2. The <jerks> in Crestview voted against light rail in 2000 - screwing the whole city. Now the (much <less useful>) 2004 commuter rail line _still_ goes through their backyards, but the rest of the city gets nothing for it.

3. They're misleading you when they imply they want nice high-density urban development in Northcross. All efforts to do the same in the past at this and other nearby locations have been opposed by these same neighborhood organizations. Anyways, there isn't sufficient residential density to support good urban retail here - so nobody's going to come in and do it even if you ask really nicely. This Wal-Mart plan is actually about as high-quality a project as you could possibly expect in the middle of such low-quality car-dependent low-density 1950s-style sprawl.

These neighborhoods have been pandered to enough already. Unfortunately, thanks to term-limiting, the irresponsible council-members who are signing us up for a lawsuit that, once again, the ENTIRE CITY WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR, won't even be in office when the northcross hits the fan.

I forgot to mention the continuing bogus freeway argument. Go read that one too; it's far better for all concerned that we stop putting major retail destinations on frontage roads, so please shut up about how the other big stores are on highways.

I really do hate Wal-Mart for many reasons. But the fact is that even the crappy normal Wal-Mart design is better than what's currently there - and there's zero chance of something better coming along without drastic changes to the surrounding areas which I can guarantee the nearby neighbors will not support. The taxpayers of Austin have spent a million bucks or more just in the last few years pandering to these people; it's time to put something in this place that will generate some property and sales tax revenue to start paying us back.

This entry was posted in the following categories: Austin , Urban Design , When Neighborhoods Go Bad

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Comments

I am at a loss that you are saying that Crestview killed rail. As far as I know, a light rail stop is planed for Lamar and Justin Lane - and a relatively sizeable area at that - they have already started clearing buildings and land. If you go to page 138 of the url (pdf), #13: "Plan for the possibility of rapid transit while preserving the freedom of neighborhoods and individuals to choose or oppose rapid transit"

All the neighborhood is doing is, pardon the pun, ensuring they do not get railroaded in the process. Kinda the way the 6 surrounding neighborhoods of NC are.

Crestview helped kill the 2000 LIGHT RAIL plan.

The 2004 plan (which Crestview still fought half-heartedly against, by the way, but passed due to less suburban opposition) is COMMUTER RAIL - with no stops in central Austin; doesn't go near UT; doesn't go near the Capitol; doesn't go by the Triangle; etc.

Go back and read my blog for details if you really don't know the difference between the two.

This is not just about NIMBYs. Austinites from all over town signed the petition and are participating in RG4N.

Your anger has always saddened me. All you propose is an arguement. You aren't for anything, only against something. You have no solution, only problems to report. Perhaps that college degree would have helped after all...

If said neighborhoods had ever supported a dense mixed-use development for Northcross BEFORE Wal-Mart threatened, I'd believe you.

And take your smarmy attitude and shove it where the sun don't shine.

irony is being told "You aren't for anything, only against something." by someone who wants to leave Northcross a stinking hole to spite WalMart

I went to the meetings about the new transit center. I would estimate that 85% of the neighborhood favored that development which has pretty dense residential and commercial. Most Also most people live in a home for only 4-5 years on average. So most of the people that opposed the 2000 plan dont even live in Crestview anymore. So hating the current residents because of what previous residents did is kind of wierd.


The 15% against the transit center are older and the people who are pro Walmart. These are also the residents who have lived in crestview for a long time and were against the original 2000 plan. So basically the people who helped kill the 2000 plan are thrilled with Walmart.

Again, different rail project. Commuter rail got passed over their objections - and does nothing for central Austin at all in any way, shape, or form. In fact, if you read my blog, you'll see that I think it's going to set back rail transit here for a generation as people discover that I really wasn't kidding when I said that choice commuters don't want to ride shuttle buses every day from the train station at the Convention Center (or on Manor Road) to their office.

As for Crestview Station - I'll take with a grain of salt; but it still doesn't matter. Light rail in 2000 was the defining transportation issue of our generation, and Crestview/Wooten prevented us all from getting it.

People only live in houses for 4-5 years? Huh? Renters, maybe. I agree w/ Mike here - this store fits exactly into the character of the 1960s residential model that surrounds it. The mall site, traffic patterns and all, was designed within the boundaries of that model and there's no reason to expect a cool little urban village to magically appear there given the demographic it serves. I wonder how many of the RG4N folks were around when Northcross was THE mall in Austin? Back in 1980 that place was mobbed with traffic all day every weekend. That's what it is designed for. RG4N doesn't want anything developed there that remotely resembles the site's original plan, because they've gotten comfortable living by its empty shell all these years. No Rad, this is NIMBY at its worst. The only reason residents from other hoods signed that petition is because the project is a Wal-Mart. Do you really think a 200,000 SF Whole Foods would have received this level of opposition from the neighbors OR the rest of the city? I doubt it.

I think WalMart is a grand idea for NorthCross. Let's face it. The mall is dead, and the area is in dire need of a grocery store. The argument that "people from all over Austin" signed the petition is actually working against the NIMBYs. Yes, many "Walmart is the Evil Satan Keep Austin in the Dark Ages and Weird" people signed the petition like they sign every other petition for every other liberal cause. So what? The law was followed. The site plan is approved. Get over it and mov on!

You keep saying that Crestview killed the rail project. But most of those people have moved or been moved into nursing homes or died. Alot of the current residents of Crestview were in college in 2000. The remaining residents are all for the Walmart. They are happy because they killed the 2000 rail plan and are getting a Walmart. They could not be happier. I think they dont like the Crestview station though.

Second I was not talking about how Crestview supports the current rail project. I was saying that Crestview supports the increased density at the new development around the Crestview station. You keep saying Crestview is against density but that plan was pretty dense and had pretty strong support from the neighborhood from most everyone except for the old people.

For people like WannabeLikeMike who quotes

"Yes, many "Walmart is the Evil Satan Keep Austin in the Dark Ages and Weird" people signed the petition like they sign every other petition for every other liberal cause. So what"

Why are you even in Austin if you hate it so much. Austin is liberal. Austin is wierd. It has been liberal for a long time. Did you somehow miss that when you moved here? If you dont like that move to Houston or Dallas.

I didnt move to Houston because I have no interest in listening to a bunch of people that will talk about how great Bush and Limbaugh are for the country.

" But most of those people have moved or been moved into nursing homes or died. Alot of the current residents of Crestview were in college in 2000."

Crestview - it is 2006, not 2036 for crissake! I defy you to show me a demographic map that supports this ridciulous assertion. I would wager a bong and a blintz that that a good portion if not the majority of residents living within 2 miles of NC have lived there more than 5 years, just as it is in almost every other residential section of town. Fudging the facts isn't going to help your cause.

Pat Doyle,

Crestview - it is 2006, not 2036 for crissake! I defy you to show me a demographic map that supports this ridciulous assertion. I would wager a bong and a blintz that that a good portion if not the majority of residents living within 2 miles of NC have lived there more than 5 years, just as it is in almost every other residential section of town. Fudging the facts isn't going to help your cause.

http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0069/twps0069.html#tab02

If you look at Metropolitan areas on average 19.3 percent have lived in their current place for 0 - 1 years. 25.3 percent have lived in their current place for 1-3 years. So 44.6 percent have lived in their house for in 0 - 3 years. Its been 6 years since the 2000 debate. Apparently your 2036 number is totally unfounded. Its interesting you are so obnoxious and but you clearly dont what you are talking about.

Further looking at the census data shows more interest statistics. I said that the old people that killed the 2000 plan and support walmart were still here and the young people for the most part moved here more recently. I didnt have any solid evidence but it seemed that old people I talked to had been here for a long time 10 - 20 years frequently and younger people I talked to had recently moved to the area.


People 25-34
71.4 percent were in their residences for only 0-3 years

People 65 and older
15.8 percent were in their residences for only 0-3 years

I am not that surprised. So yeah umm 2036.

Anyway back to my original point before I got side tracked by mister 2036. The old people that killed light rail are still here. They love walmart. The younger residents that support the dense residential development at Huntsman were more likely to have not been in crestview in 2000.

Supporting walmart is supporting the people that killed the 2000 plan.

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Pelli is correct. Which bring me to this: I don't think you, Mr Meek know what you speak of half the time. You seem to love to rant and play devil's advocate. How about youjust leave Austin or get a hobby?

No true Pat, I was there, the mall never saw the traffic you described, even with Furrs! That was Highland.

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