I love QuikTrip and think they have a good business model. I also believe in free enterprise. But there are zoning laws in effect for a reason — and I don’t think QT would be a good fit at the proposed location of Whitlock Avenue and Burnt Hickory. There are a number of reasons for this:
* Traffic. It’s already a huge problem in that area, and this will aggravate the situation on both Whitlock and Burnt Hickory. I’m sure the council is looking at how to approach the station from the west. Yes, that location has issues similar to the QT on N. Cobb Parkway and Allgood Road — but with many fewer lanes and less room for error.
* Safety. Look for a substantial increase in accidents there. Currently we experience multiple serious incidents per year at that intersection already. The guard rail on the northwest side of the intersection (in front of Whitlock Package) is often in need of repair.
* Aesthetics. The result will be that we will likely have THREE empty gas stations within a quarter mile of that location within a year. We are already experiencing blight in the area, mostly because of Kroger moving instead of upgrading and Home Depot driving out Ace Hardware. When we moved here in 1995, that was the center of commerce for this area. Now, the only successful sites are Gabriel’s plaza and part of Kroger’s plaza (which has lost several businesses recently).
Can’t we find another type of business that would be willing to go in there? QuikTrip is destined to take out more local business without adding a new service to attract people to come to the area. If there’s a solution to the traffic issues, an Aldi’s, Trader Joe’s or other specialty grocery or even fast food would be wonderful. Otherwise a retail or service company with less traffic would be preferable.
I know the talk is that the city government want to have that site occupied with a revenue-producing business — and I am all for that. But we need to think about the rest of the area instead of one parcel. We will be robbing Peter to pay Paul.
The mayor has stated that he is committed to building a new Marietta — one that is attractive to all, and causing two more locally owned businesses to close is not going in the right direction in my book.