By Stephen C. Fischer
It’s a longshot, but a grassroots effort of average citizens in Boise is taking on the big corporation of CVS Pharmacy and their plans to build a 15,000-foot store at State and 16th – with a petition that has garnered more than 300 signatures in its first week.
This proposed CVS would be an oversized eyesore with lots of unsightly asphalt for 48 spaces of parking. It would demolish the artsy Arcade building, along with three vintage homes on Jefferson Street. Also, there are already at least three pharmacies in the immediate area.
This big and boxy monstrosity of traffic and smog and noise would intrude against a cherished historic neighborhood at the gateway to downtown Boise – the type of project that threatens Boise at its core, its heart, and so is a danger to all the Treasure Valley.
As the number of signatures to the petition soars, CVS ignores it at the peril of a boycott of not only this store, but its other stores. Any local government officials ignore us at the peril of losing our votes.
This is a scrappy rally of regular residents who are trying to save our uniquely lovely and livable hometown from being demolished into a bland and boring version of urban sprawl and congestion, concrete and asphalt, neon and noise.
In the words of one commenter on the petition site, we don’t want Boise to become Everywhere Else, USA.
This effort to block CVS at State and 16th seems to be a last stand to save Boise, to preserve its special character from a crass commercialization that seems to be sweeping across America — devastating the ambience of attractive cities and robbing them of their individual identities.
At present, Boise seems beset by a tidal wave of proposed developments that threaten to overwhelm us with a demolition of beauty and a leveling of local character, reducing our surroundings into a bland and boring monotony.
A new and excellent resource named Vanishing Boise is chronicling the startling and sad degradation that awaits us in Boise if we don’t put up a strong and determined resistance right away. http://www.facebook.com/vanishingboise
If we turn back CVS to more suitable locations in our area, we will have won a great victory that could give us the momentum to stop other projects that are a looming danger to our precious but precarious quality of life.
As Homer Simpson says while driving down a typical American roadway of chain stores and fast-food franchises, “Ah, the Miracle Mile [or State Street heading west from downtown Boise]. Where value wears a neon sombrero and there’s not a single church or library to offend the eye.”
Let’s not let Boise succumb to this kind of joke, this defacement and defilement that benefits only a tiny few elitists of power and wealth, to the detriment of the common person.
Keep Boise Unique!!! Please join us: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-cvs-at-state-and-16th-in-boise
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