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June 11, 2019 Letters to the Editor

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Route 228 misgivings

Before I start, let me say how happy I am that Route 228 in is being widened to four lanes — a much needed improvement.

My issue is the current design as proposed for the section from the Mars railroad bridge east to Route 8. Instead of just building a five-lane highway identical to Route 8, PennDOT has decided to construct a divided highway with jug handles. The goal is to prevent any and all left-hand turns. This will, to say the least, impact my business, Quality Gardens and the Bloom Caf.

I am very concerned that this plan will put us out of business. I wonder how many of my customers coming from the west will be willing to drive past our business to some jug handle, turn around and then come back? PennDOT engineers have told me that it will hurt our caf business, but that since Quality Gardens is a “destination,” all will be OK. Really? I am sure all you good folks will be willing to be inconvenienced just so you can shop at Quality Gardens?

Well, maybe most of our customers will put up with the extra miles involved in getting and leaving here, but say 20% of our customers say “no, not worth the hassle.” If any of you know business, you know how fragile success in small business can be. We are no exception. Take away 20% or even 10% percent of our business and we are done. Quality Gardens was recently ranked in the top 100 garden centers in America. There are 35 employees who worked very hard to achieve the success of being in the top 100. What a shame it would be for them to not only lose their jobs but to see all that they have worked for be destroyed by PennDOT.

Tom McMeekin Adams Township

The writer is president of Quality Gardens Inc.

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