Monday, March 05, 2007

Box Store Dodge Ball

Bellingham, Ferndale, Whatcom County, Lummi Reservation. The game is on to avoid being hit, or to catch the ball - box stores.

Bellingham dodges with a ban on box stores, but the ball is still in the air.

Ferndale temporarily dodges and so does Whatcom County.

Now it looks like Lummi Reservation may be poised to catch the ball, or a Walmart Superstore at least.

Who's winning? Who's loosing? Why are people playing?

The automobile plays. It plays a big role in box store economics. Plenty of space for parking.

Then there's also the "one with the most toys wins" cheer.

Volume discount.

That's why people are playing, to a large extent.

Next question.

Is anyone winning, or losing?

In Washington State, dodging a super store could mean losing lots of tax revenue. We don't have a state income tax, so our state and local governments derive a large percent of their "revenue score" from sales tax.

On the other hand, catching the ball can mean traffic, other problems.

Traffic crosses jurisdictional lines as well. Can the referee do anything, call a time-out?

Sitting in the grandstands, I am not too worried. I just try and go where the traffic isn't, or at least there's a wide enough shoulder to cushion my bicycle.

Dodge ball with the cars can be deadly.

I haven't used Slater Road that frequently, since they built Silver Reef Casino, out by where there's talk of a possible Walmart.

Years ago, I cycled along those lowlands, where birds flew, but traffic changes the scene. Yes, there's a shoulder on Slater, but a trip on parts of I-5 is better. A wider shoulder. If Slater is going to be busy anyway, might as well take a trip on I-5's wider shoulder.

Narrow shoulders on Nooksack River bridges can be a problem.

As for catching a few "trail building" dollars, there is a new bike trail, near that area, which is quite delightful. Along east dike of Nooksack River south from Hovander Homstead Park, near Ferndale.

Part of the score is in how our people play the game. Try to live a sustainable lifestyle.

What's that? Read on, my blog.

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