Years ago, a columnist from the Boston Globe wrote an article about Rutland. Not the drug problem/anti-immigrants notoriety we've gotten, but just his impressions of the city itself. Alas, it seemed that he hadn't gotten much further than the strip development of Rutland Town south on Route 7. People were indignant that he hadn't bothered to come into the city to see Main Street Park, drive north of 4 and 7, or drive downtown, which was thriving then. I was indignant, too, but also annoyed that the town had turned the southern approach to the city (to say nothing about the western one) into a junk gauntlet to lower their taxes. Now we are embroiled in the controversy of whether to tear down one of the few remaining historic buildings on Route 7 to build a Starbucks strip mall next to the CVS one. I think if the Starbucks developer took the time to actually study that junction of routes 4 and 7, he wouldn't be so impressed with the prospect of making lots of money selling coffee. Think of entering the city via Woodstock Avenue. You have to choose between three lanes — the one to the right, a right hand turn lane to go north, is also the only way to enter legally where Starbucks plans to have an entrance. For those of us who have regularly turned right on red there, we'd now have to wait much more frequently for the person in front who wants to go straight into the strip mall. Of the thousands of cars and trucks that routinely pour down those three lanes, how many actually go straight into the strip mall? I know that is the lane with the least traffic; whereas, the left turning lanes are thronged. Coming from the south and going north on 7? You have to be in the left turn lane, assuming you know there's a Starbucks there and don't plan to head east on 4. While the developer is counting on travelers on those routes, even locals might well be discouraged by that approach to Starbucks. Coming south is probably the best shot for Starbucks customers. Coming from any direction, you have to pass Dunkin' Donuts, and from the west, Dunkin' Donuts and the local coffee shops that are downtown before you get to those very busy junctions. Perhaps the developer should study how many of those cars and trucks pouring down Woodstock Avenue actually stop at any of the burger places there, soon to be three. Not many. They are intent on going their way and navigating the traffic. Last, if I wanted a quiet cup of coffee, to read something quietly with my croissant, have a munch, the last place I'd want it would be in a traffic-choked, concrete-hemmed junction of empty lot, burger joints and pharmacies. I'd want a quiet, leafy spot where I could look out the window and see something besides 18-wheelers rounding a corner in a cloud of exhaust. Diane Alberts Rutland

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