If a New Highway is Built Will They Come? (Chapter 2)
The saga of a proposed highway by-pass around Mount Pleasant continues. Last week we discussed several issues about the project. Some of the impact studies are complete and summarized in the following excerpts from he Mount Pleasant Observer
Civil Engineers from the Fransisco DeLuca College were engaged to conduct origin and destination studies at four locations throughout the effected area. Origin and destination surveys, in their simplest form, determine where motorists are coming from, where they are going and why.
The Tours Surs Les Bonbon was the first retail location selected. Over a period of a summer’s week a sample of customers were asked questions such as home location, how and why they selected this particular candy store, why they were in Mount Pleasant and their destination. In summary clients were primarily from Mount Pleasant and area and were returning customers. The region has many summer attractions resulting in lots of tourists. They also provide a substantial customer base, arriving at Tours Surs Les Bonbon because of a well deserved reputation for excellent products.
Albert’s Automotive Service Centre was next, conducted in a hostile environment because the owners remain very skeptical as to the intentions of the survey. In short the owners harbor the belief that the Government is doing a set up job and using a biased survey that would favor the by-pass. The results are very similar to the candy store. Customers are mainly local, although the range was considerably greater.
The Grow All Garden Centre benefit even more from local clientele. Through traffic generates very little business. Not so surprising considering the intense home gardening imbedded in the local community
Research around the Evergreen Motel produces a different story. Over eighty percent of the clients in the sample week are travelers, stopping as a matter of convenience. On further investigation revenues had been in a decline for some period of time. Based on limited research, the owners believe the drop was due to less sales person traffic as they switched to the large chains. Tourist business was down perhaps because the motel did not have competitive facilities including a swimming pool and play area.
Assessment of vehicular flows on Mount Pleasant’s main arteries yielded data that 63% of the automobile and truck traffic were not stopping and had no need to do so.
Thus far specific conclusions are the following
- Businesses that are robust will not be negatively impacted
- Businesses that are languishing will suffer further decline
- A by-pass will be reduce congestion on arterial internal road ways
A concluding article will be published in next week’s Observer.