Here I am, on a soapbox again…

My Husband and I moved to the Black Hills 7 years ago to help start a new business with his best friend. We started with one oil change shop. We now proudly operate 3, plus a car wash….

Business has been good, with steady growth….

That could be in serious jeopardy for our newest and most promising location on Mt Rushmore Road.

The City of Rapid City, in it’s infinite wisdom is trying to put through a “Beautification” initiative by adding a median down Mt Rushmore Road. I personally despise medians in business districts, but can admit they look nice if landscaped properly. I will readily admit that I avoid patronizing businesses that require me to go out of my way to get to them and the really crappy part of this that it will also include an ordinance forbidding U-turns, essentially land locking many of the local businesses along this busy street as customers will be forced to go around the block to get to said businesses. Not to mention the impact on the residential streets surrounding these businesses who will see a dramatic rise in traffic when folks get creative in order to bypass the medians. Streets where the elderly walk their dogs, and children walk to and from school….

I understand that tourism is a huge part of our local economy. Our business benefits just like every other one in town from tourist traffic. That being said, our local customers are our mainstay; customers that may turn to our competitors when it becomes inconvenient to patron our shop on Mt Rushmore Road. Let’s face it, American’s in general are all about convenience. Hence the popularity of drive thru lanes in not only fast food restaurants but pharmacies, dry cleaners, banks etc. We like things to be easy….

So I’m asking all of my local readers to contact the following dimwits who think this is a great idea! Share with them your feelings on this imposed inconvenience as well as your concern on the impact this could have on many of our local small business owners and do it PDQ as they want all input by the end of this month….

Mr. John Van Beek
Ferber Engineering, Rapid City
Ph: (605) 343-3311
Rapid City Planning Office
Patsy Horton, Transportation Planning Coordinator
Ph: (605) 394-4120
Rapid City Mayor Sam Kooiker
Phone: (605) 394-4110

Tell them you are opposed to the addition of a median on Mt. Rushmore Road as part of their efforts to make it more appealing to tourists, that you resent having so called improvements done that will only make accessing our local businesses along Mt Rushmore Road extremely inconvenient for the local patrons who are the bread and butter of these businesses.

Tell them to ask themselves this question: Is a more eye appealing street worth the loss of even more small businesses in Rapid City?

Improve the look of Mt Rushmore Road? Certainly. Plant trees, shrubs etc? Absolutely. Mandate a “sprucing up” of some of the older businesses who’s store fronts have become somewhat shabby? By all means. Put in a median, and forbid U-turns in order to access a business?? Bad idea, and bad for the local business owners. Their sales will suffer, that’s a fact whether they choose to acknowledge it or not.

Thanks for your help…


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