Boycott – Oh Boy

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I got a call from a concerned resident.
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She wondered if I had a list of all the business owners on Main Street that were in support of the new St. Croix River Crossing.  I told her I didn’t have a list and asked her why she was looking for that list.  She told me that she and some friends were looking for a tangible way to protest the bridge approval and they decided that they would boycott downtown businesses.
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I wasn’t surprised.  I have been downtown for 3 years now and understand how these things work.  There are some people who think if you own a business you must have lots of money and power; that is most certainly not the case.   I know that I am making my fortune one ball of yarn at a time:)
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I told her that I would hate to see her punish 30 independent small downtown businesses with a boycott.  I asked if she was also planning to boycott Lakeview Hospital, Cub Foods, Target, Perkins, Lowes, Walmart, Menards, and the hotels on Highway 36.  Those businesses and the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce also support the new St. Croix River Crossing.  She seemed shocked that they were in support of the bridge as well.
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I told her that downtown Stillwater businesses already feel like local residents have boycotted Main Street. Not because of our support of the bridge, but because of the congestion that is choking Main Street.  She said she doesn’t come downtown because of traffic and parking.  (I kindly reminded her that we have over 1500 parking spots downtown and that November – April she can come down and pretty much park anywhere she wants!  For FREE!  Somehow it always comes back to parking.  Don’t get me started…)
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She was a very nice woman, we actually had a very nice conversation.  She lives near Hwy 36 and doesn’t want increased traffic or congestion in her neighborhood, safety was a top concern.  I told her that they were going to rework the intersections on Hwy 36 to make better turn lanes and better frontage roads.  She said she really didn’t know what the plan was.  HUH?  I wanted to ask her how she could protest something she didn’t have the facts about, but I held my tongue.  I did mention that the people who live on Greeley or 3rd street or on other “short cut” roads on the hill are looking forward to getting rid of the traffic on their roads from Wisconsin commuters.
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Unfortunately, not everyone can benefit.
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I know that this is a hot button issue and that some people live close to the new bridge and are worried about noise and traffic and I understand their frustration.  I really do.
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I am a firm believer that the new St. Croix River Crossing will reinvent Main Street.  That it will allow Stillwater residents to take back their town.  It will mean that people who come to Main Street will be people who actually want to be there; to sightsee, shop, or dine.  I haven’t even mentioned the walking and biking paths!
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I asked that she reconsider her boycott.  I hope she does.
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Interested in more information about the bridge?  Here is a cool video.  I hope the concerned citizen takes the time to watch it too.

 

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3 Responses to “Boycott – Oh Boy”

  1. Aran Jackson says:

    Thank you Aimee! A new bridge in Stillwater was decades overdue when my family moved here 35 years ago.

  2. Judy Meincke says:

    Aimee, I think you handled the caller’s concerns beautifully. As the previous writer stated, the new bridge in Stillwater is long overdue. I have been in this area (Hudson), having moved here 38 years ago, and there was controversy then about whether or not to replace the bridge. It has been a hot-button issue for decades. I, for one, am glad that it is finally becoming a reality.

  3. […] believed it then and supported the St. Croix River Crossing Coalition. Even with threats of boycott. Remember that? Oh well…water under the bridge:) […]

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