Sorry to Say, But I Agree with Wal-Mart
The proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter on the north end of Bend has a ton of opposition (and folks who don't like Wal-Mart, but don't like the opposition), to the point where Wal-Mart had to appeal to the State Land Use Board of Appeals. The biggest roadblock was how Wal-Mart was going to handle traffic at the already clogged Cooley Rd. and Hwy. 97 intersection (their land is on that corner). What always confused me, however, is how it seemed that Wal-Mart was wholly responsible for traffic restructuring in that area, despite the other large tenants in the area and the City of Bend's Juniper Ridge project right across the highway, which, upon completion, promises just as many traffic problems. Now that the City has its first planned tenant (the corporate headquarters for Les Schwab Tires), Wal-Mart has a legitimate beef. Is the tire giant going to have to pay to help traffic issues in the area? The City of Bend worked their tails off to get Les Schwab to move to Juniper Ridge, and (from what I can tell) is giving Les Schwab a free pass (I know Les and co' won't have nearly the traffic flow). From what I can tell, the City is requiring a lot more work out of Wal-Mart. Both companies are going to provide a bunch of jobs and tax dollars to the area (obviously Wal-Mart's will be lesser paying -- I won't argue with that). But how much is the city planning on paying for improvement there versus what they're asking of Wal-Mart and some of their preferred tenants? Yes, Wal-Mart a massive company with a buttload of money, but is it fair to pin everything on them?