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August 30, 2021


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Thanks Brian. If one were to poll the existing businesses in downtown Salem, especially the restaurants, they would overwhelmingly say that they would LOVE to have an Amazon store downtown. It would be a regional draw that would greatly increase the foot traffic downtown. And it would force the City to act on our antiquated free parking that doesn't work anymore. We need paid parking like other cities our size. People should go to Eugene to see how it works. You can actually find a place to park on the street in downtown Eugene and it's worth the small amount you get dinged with you stick your credit card in the meter.

Mayhaps I am mistaken, but this seems like an idealistic fantasy.
The transportation issues would be problematic. Getting anywhere in town is becoming very difficult as population and congestion continue to increase.
If the store were actually to become a "regional draw", then one only needs to consider the discussions about the importance of location during the Costco matter. Stores that depend on regional sales must be located near high capacity roads: Never in downtown areas like ours.
Expensive parking that tends to exclude those with limited incomes may help some but it would not be a plus when it comes to how many people might shop there.
Also, unless things have radically and secretively changed, financial incentives would not only be required, but it is likely that a bidding war would be created between alternative jurisdictions.
The proposition that the store would be a "boon" to downtown development is questionable, at best. While a store with a broad range of affordable groceries has been and continues to be seen as needed downtown, it is generally accepted that development must come first. The cart comes after the horse.
Nevertheless, downtown development is important and even bad ideas can be stimulating and therefore useful.

This is the kind of thinking that gives Baby Boomers who already "got theirs" a bad rep among those who are trying to figure out how they're going to survive in this world long after we're gone. After knocking out most of the locally owned and operated retail businesses in just about every town in the United States, and wreaking untold damage on the natural world with its wasteful packaging and delivery practices, OF COURSE Amazon wants to build department stores to knock out the few remaining big boxes, too. That's what corporate persons and monopolies do and I don't think you can be a loyal Amazon customer and a supporter of sustainable local economies and strong towns at the same time. Walmart started it, Costco kept it going, and Amazon will do them both in eventually. WALMART SUCKS. COSTCO SUCKS. AMAZON SUCKS. Buy local. Buy sustainable. Buy owner-operated. What happened to THAT as a goal?

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