Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Un-Super-Size Me

Via the Statesman comes word that Wal-Mart has decided to scale back their planned development at Northcross Mall, taking off one proposed story and dropping sections like grocery, gardening and auto. This was apparently an internal decision at Wal-Mart - certainly none of the various legal barricades that had been thrown up had managed to pass muster.

Responsible [sic] Growth For Austin is of course declaring partial victory:

"We're happy to see this step in the right direction," said Hope Morrison, president of Responsible Growth for Northcross. "It's a better fit for the area and precludes the need for continuing legal action."

Emphasis mine. Now we'll get a chance to see what the issue really was all about. My hunch is that this wasn't about size or traffic at all - it was primarily the vocal libs in the area unhappy about seeing the hated Wal-Mart show up in their area. I believe that if the same exact store had been proposed, but it was proposed by Whole Foods, for example, there would been much less outcry.

But now that Wal-Mart has met the opposition more than half-way, any reasonable rationale for protest has gone away. So, if we continue to see those "No To Wal-Mart" signs up, then we'll know that the neighborhood really defines "responsible" as "anything but Wal-Mart".

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