We were excited to learn about what was going to happen with the Big Kmart building on Stewart Pkwy but were disappointed when we heard it was going to be another big chain grocery store in North Roseburg.

We have nothing against WinCo, we’ve shopped there and saved money there. But how does it make sense to demolish the Kmart building, and no guarantees they won’t also demolish the Big 5 store too, to build a huge 70,000 sq. ft. grocery store in the same parking lot as Sherm’s Market? In fact, there are four major grocery stores within one mile or less of Stewart Pkwy and Edenbower. Is this the only part of Roseburg worthy of a grocery store, don’t other areas of town need one?

We are also concerned about the traffic this will create. Even in its heyday, the Kmart was never all that busy. WinCo on the other hand always seems to be busy and extraordinarily so during the all-important peak traffic hours. Even without Kmart, it takes at least two traffic light cycles during busy times to turn onto Edenbower to go to the freeway. Add a busy WinCo to that and it’ll likely double.

And what do the hundreds of new daily car trips this will create mean for Mercy Hospital and emergency response times? Has the City made sure that a comprehensive traffic study was done? Will WinCo, and not taxpayers, be making any needed improvements to support this new traffic? Will this impact air quality and pollution? What about delays and noise during demolition and construction?

There are a lot more questions than answers about this project. We hope that the Planning Commission will not rush to approve this before making sure that we have answers to these questions.

Robert Smith


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(3) comments


Here's my two cents: I shopped at the Winco in Springfield today. I look forward to day that I can shop a Winco in Roseburg. Wherever Winco puts it is fine with me.

The streets exist. The intersections exist. Grocery shoppers already exist in the same number right now -- sorry Robert, you can't make chicken soup out of chicken guano, and I can't can't help but wonder what your real concern might be.

George Weston

I just wonder if the letter writer, who appears to be the same person who filed an objection by e-mail, has a business that might affect them? This is the way it usually goes. No one wants to compete for their customers. That is why this area has not grown over the years. It seems that it is all about the business owner and not the people. Or is it, that they are speaking, or paid to speak, for other business owners who don't want to speak up for fear of losing their customers. Something to think about.

Granted, there may be issues with the traffic, but it can't be much worse than Garden Valley Blvd., can it? That would be like rush hour traffic in Portland. You may not like it, but you just live with it. The downtown areas of most cities have been dying due to sprawl of the business base and the lack of parking. Can you see what it would be like if everything was in the downtown base. The old downtown was built when the old highway system went through the town. There was only one way in and one way out. I don't see that here.


I addressed this at length under the article "Roseburg Planning Commission hears WinCo proposal."

In short, the city has a long history of subsidizing new stores coming in by not requiring them to pay for the needed infrastructure upgrades to keep the area livable. They give billion dollar companies easy breaks on the mistaken belief that the new stores will increase jobs in the area. This generally proves false because for every new big store that comes to town, an established store or many small businesses end up closing and laying off all their staff. WinCo is worth at least 3 billion dollars. Do they really need or deserve subsidies from Roseburg taxpayers?

I have nothing against WinCo. From everything I've read it's a great store. I'd just like to see the Planning Commission do their job to make sure Stewart Parkway and Edenbower don't become impassable during peak traffic hours. A traffic study done by the company is not good enough for this kind of problem.

When Wal-Mart was before the Planning Commission their corporate reps stayed within the parameters of fact while giving a false impression, They said the streets could handle increased traffic without improvements. In fact, the streets were already at a "D" designation, which is one step from complete failure. Yes, they could handle a few more cars before officially failing, but it takes nerve to celebrate a D grade as adequate. It was local citizens, holding up prior traffic reports commissioned by the city in previous years, who alerted the Planning Commission to the current "D" rating of the area. The Commission had had no idea.

The intersection of Edenbower and Stewart Parkway is barely functional during peak hours. Adding more traffic will be a disaster for Mercy and for folks who have to travel that area to get to and from home and work.

It's up to people who have to regularly use that area, i.e., those who have a stake in the issue, to voice their concerns to the Planning Commission and the city. Otherwise, the rosy traffic report presented by WinCo will be accepted as signed, sealed and delivered.

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