North Whitehall: Prepare to never go anywhere again

WalMart is coming.  They have no intention of helping the township preserve any of its rural charm, calling efforts to improve the quality of that gray cinder-block facade “gingerbread.”  They also are brushing off the potential of a 21% increase in traffic on an already congested strip of 309, but the good news is that the company will be building a sidewalk on their block of route 309.  So, you know, when your car is stuck in a traffic jam, you will be able to safely park it in the middle of the road and walk on a paved sidwalk to get up the road.

For the record, I am almost universally in favor of sidewalks, but the idea of there being a sidewalk that runs the 2000 feet in front of WalMart and that’s it strikes me as sad more than anything else.

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8 Responses to “North Whitehall: Prepare to never go anywhere again”


  1. 1 In the know March 4, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Just say “no” to Walmart. If everyone boycotted them, they couldn’t continue their dastardly destruction of our communities and our land.

  2. 2 LOOSE CANNON March 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    So, you guys are against jobs in North Whitehall or what?

    Where would you put the store?

    Or, are you against Walmart period because they are an evil, greedy, rich corporation out to rob and steal from every last American?

    🙂

  3. 3 Capri Roth March 4, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    First of all, I am generally “against” Walmart’s business practices, but I also understand that many people depend on Walmart’s “low prices-low wages” model to buy things that they don’t really need. I don’t shop at Walmart, and I encourage my friends, family, and acquaintances also to not shop at Walmart. However, I don’t think that all Walmarts should be wiped off the face of the earth (although, perfect world….)

    That said, my opposition to THIS Walmart is location. I have two primary reasons for opposing this location:
    First, there are already 2 Walmarts with in 10 miles, including one that is less than 6 miles away.
    Second, Route 309 is already overcongested because of the rampant housing development in North Whitehall in the last decade – even since the supposed road improvements were made, the traffic between 8am and 6pm is a serious problem, with congestion that often stretches for a mile or more.

    As for bringing jobs to North Whitehall, no, I do not support bringing 150 minimum wage jobs to North Whitehall. “Who could possibly be against more jobs?” you cry? Walmart puts other businesses out of business. That is their business model. And they do so using the fair tools of the free market, so you know, good for them I guess. But for the 150 minimum wage jobs, which will lead to 150 employees who likely need public assistance to meet their basic living costs, how many fair wage jobs in surrounding small businesses are lost? Even one is too many for me.

  4. 4 savethekales March 5, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    I don’t think anyone can really sing the praises of a WalMart job until they have tried making a living on 8 dollars an hour.

    Great post, Capri, as always 🙂

  5. 5 dan March 5, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    hmmm…as I understand it the usual scenario is that the number of jobs created by a Walmart is less than the number of jobs lost when local competitors are forced to close, resulting in a net job-loss.

    where on 309 is this by the way?

  6. 6 Capri Roth March 5, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Dan, it is proposed for Rt 309 between Levans Road and Old Packhouse Road in North Whitehall Township (Schnecksville area).

    As for job loss – I have heard that net jobs can go negative, but the most thorough research I’ve seen is by Emek Basker from the University of Missouri, who found that for every 100 jobs created by a Wal-Mart, an everage of 70 local jobs are lost because of competitors, wholesalers, and local distributors either downsizing or going out of business. However, going back to Jaime’s point about working for $8 an hour, those 70 lost-jobs often generate a higher income than 100 Wal-Mart jobs, and so a county can actually see an overall decrease in net incomes as a result of Wal-Mart’s arrival.

  7. 7 In the know March 8, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Wal-mart is the devil. You dance with the devil and you stop when the devil says, “stop.” There is so much wrong with the Wal-Mart business model, it’s hard to decide where to start. Cheap Chinese goods. Depressing stores. Exploited, low-wage employees. Suburban locations destroy farm land and gut our real communities.

  8. 8 TripDad March 16, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I live in Schnecksville, just off of Schneck Road. Every day I make my way to the turnpike as part of my commute. Every day I hit each light on 309. Every Day. The fact that the yahoos on the planning commision are taking the Wal-mart engineers word as gospel is appalling. I did see that they performed a traffic survey however it was before the semester began at LCCC. And to top that off it was only immediately before and after the proposed site. I’m not sure how Sand Spring ( in my opinion, the main bottle neck of northern 309) could have possibly been monitored.

    Had I known that this business was moving to North Whitehall, I would have never purchased our home. I would have continued to search. Yes, it means that much to me. Wal-Mart’s tactics are deplorable and the impact on the community will be evident in short time. Traffic aside, I sense the loss of identity for this township rapidly approaching.

    The township supervisors seem to only care about what’s best for themselves and the fire company. Some of their attachments to the fire company could be viewed as “interesting” and their double duty within township might be construed as a conflict. I applaud Jerry Joseph’s efforts and wish the other supervisors would get off of the taxpayer’s dime. His fight and victory at the polls has been valiant. Keep up the fight amigo.

    Alas, I think were desined for this monstrosity. I’ve been looking at everyday items for some time now, checking out where they are produced…what a time to be a businessman in China. Sink stoppers, spatulas, stuffed animals, board games..it really hit me when I read the label on juicy juice. You guessed it…China.

    I love your posts and typically think that you’re spot on. It’s nice to know that someone else out there actually gives a damn. Be well and thanks for the venue.


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