Published Somedays

Market St. Beautification Project Underway

(updated: Aug 17, 2009)

Below you see the fantastic job our county and state are doing with Market St. improvements.

Ricky Bobby, NC DOT transportation manager, and Cal Naughton, Malls-R-Us REIT manager, help explain the situation.

"These road improvements are necessary to maintain traffic flow", Bobby began. "The development is going in, and we need to accommodate that. We have to keep traffic moving at all costs, so the trees had to go and a turn lane and associated traffic lighting put in. Otherwise just imagine the congestion and accidents in a few years."

Bobby continued, "Congestion relief will be very important to the growth of our economy. Without the necessary infrastructure in place, growth will be choked. We are anticipating a 10% growth rate for this area, and we need to accommodate that by adding and expanding roads. Yeah, the economy is slow right now, but personal consumption is going to pick right back up any day now, and we don’t want to be caught at the end of the trough. Now is the time to put in the unnecessary improvements."

"People will get really upset if they have to wait or get stuck in traffic”, Naughton began. “They won't come here. They will vacation and shop someplace else."

"We are continuing to built strip malls and big box stores at a rate that matches the expected population growth of the area”, Naughton continued. "These are designed with only cars in mind, because that’s how everyone gets around. It would be silly to do otherwise. It would be like making cats wear socks – they ain’t gonna do it."

"We need to rip out all the trees. Mall owners complained that they are not able to lease store space unless there is a clear view of their stores from the roads. Trees prevent motorists from seeing our stores, and if they can't see it, they won't shop here”, Naughton explained. "We need a clear line of sight from Market St. Besides, the building code now requires it, thanks to our successful high paid lobbyists."

"It's really comes down to a safety issue. If a driver has to try to strain to look between the trees, they might veer off course and create an unsafe situation. We don’t want that risk, and we can’t get insurance without it, anyway."

Naughton continued, “New Hanover County has been very pro-development. They’re great to work with. As long as we meet their lax code, we get the green light. If we get push back from citizens, we just threaten the commissioners with leaving or devastation of the local economy, and that usually does the trick."

"There’s always a few local citizens who are anti-development. But mostly we have very supportive consumers, who can’t wait to enhance their shopping experience in a new store that is closer to where they live, and we can't wait to give it to them."

"We are also creating jobs here. Jobs that that you can’t make a living on but jobs nonetheless. We have to keep costs down, so naturally people can’t be paid more than the minimum."

"We also put 24 hr lighting all around the area. Night should be bright like daytime."

When explained that lights could be outfitted with downward reflectors that improve lighting using half the energy and minimizing light pollution, Naughton said, "What's light pollution? Electricity is cheap. Besides, it's not required by code."

"Same goes for parking. Sure we could put in fewer parking spaces but that’s not what the code requires. Besides, the more land dedicated to parking, the less our tax bill, since parking is assessed at a much lower rate. It’s nice that the taxpayers effectively subsidize parking for us. After all, it benefits them when they can find a place to park on that one or two really busy shopping weeks in a year."

Asked about expanding roadways in the face of looming fossil fuel depletion Bobby expounded, "There's plenty of oil left. We just have to get the environmentalists out of the way so we can drill. Even without it there's all this new-fangled technology out there like electric cars and solar - somebody will figure out something. Besides, our government is committed to an auto-centric future with its highly successful Cash-for-Clunkers program, $60 billion transportation stimulus package, and auto company bailouts. Hey, you can't fight the government, right?"

Regarding the recent outside consultants hired to conduct the Market St. Corridor Study, which recommended separated bike paths on either side of Market, Bobby exclaimed, "It will never be built! There is no money for bike paths, only for road expansion. How can you spend transportation budget money on something for recreation when there is a real need to alleviate congestion? We cannot accommodate a 10% growth rate with bike lanes. Now that's just silly."

Tips for a successful strip mall: #1 Make sure it has a parking lot the size of Rhode Island. #2 When the Chevy Volt becomes available, the coal plant in the background will provide plenty of cheap clean power.

A transportation department's first trick: the disappearing bike lane shoulder.

Next week we'll learn the alternate transportation budget trick: Now you don't see it, now you still don't.


Filed Under: General Entries > North Carolina > Wilmington


1. observant said...

His name is Ricky Bobby?

Does he piss excellence?

Aug 18, 2009 @ 5:32 AM

2. 1RedRev said...

Were these quotes taken from an article or an interview done on t.v? Did the guy hear what he was saying? I would love to go back to him and show him his words. This can't be for real.

Aug 18, 2009 @ 11:50 AM

3. MLB said...

Seriously????? This was a joke right?

Aug 18, 2009 @ 1:41 PM

4. riley said...

You shoulda saved this for April Fools!!!

Aug 18, 2009 @ 2:38 PM

5. Reno said...

Ricky Bobby: I will not shake your hand, but I will give you this
[kisses Jean Girard]
Jean Girard: You taste of America.
Ricky Bobby: Thank you

Aug 18, 2009 @ 6:34 PM

6. MLB said...

Very Funny, Oh how the truth lies within the humor!

Aug 18, 2009 @ 8:32 PM

7. michael white said...

I vote we Critical Mass Market St. every Fri. 5 pm, from Water St. to Ogden! Do that in perpetuity, and I guarantee someone will notice!

Aug 20, 2009 @ 5:47 AM

8. SBA said...

That's what I wanted to do. Need to get out to the suburbs. We need more cyclists! But how can you get more people out cycling when they're scared to death of the roads around here (and rightly so)? If people don't ride, all that will happen is more of the same. But you can't get people to ride unless there is infrastructure for it - a catch 22.

Aug 20, 2009 @ 4:27 PM

9. Ricky Bobby said...

Yea, that's me. I used to race NASCAR and then I had that movie gig. Now I'm doing this $hit. I's a living, I guess. Don't know about that critical mash thing...might be alot of bikes torn up. Better to ride on the sidewalks can get noticed there just as well. Legal in the city limits too.

Aug 20, 2009 @ 7:57 PM


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