Sonic configuration would cost more than money

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Editor,

On Sept. 8, the Planning Commission turned down plans for a Sonic at the corner of 62W & 23S. The Arkansas Department of Transportation also rejected attempts by the developer to seek its approval until developers redrew plans to take the project out of ARDOT’s jurisdiction by putting the project’s only entrance and exit on Jordan Drive (between the Quality Inn and defunct Ozarks Family Restaurant).

Public Works denied a driveway permit for that entrance and exit. It is likely that the developers will appeal Planning’s decision to city council.

The zoning governing this site provides that commercial facilities should be “arranged with every consideration for driving safety.”

One police officer is already required to direct traffic at the intersection morning and afternoon for school traffic. What if a vehicle filled with students wants to go to the Sonic after school? The traffic the officer is directing from 23 to 62 will back up at the intersection of Jordan behind the car turning left into the Sonic, which that car will not be able to do because of the traffic that was stopped on 62 to allow the 23S traffic out.

His school chum who has already made it through the drive-through at Sonic will be unable to turn off Jordan onto 62, and the rest of the traffic from Sonic and from the Jordan subdivision will then be backed up.

Dwayne Allen of Public Works told me that improvements to the intersection are inevitable. If a roundabout is built, which is what ARDOT recommends, the required 30-ft. setback on US 62 and the 15-ft. setback on Jordan Drive will be gone. It will cost the city much more to build that roundabout, or any improvements to that intersection, if this project proceeds.

This project will cost more than it will ever get in taxes – bring in only minimum-wage jobs, be a blight on the city’s streetscape, and be a traffic nightmare.

Please contact aldermen and the mayor and say No to the Sonic.

Kristi Kendrick

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