Farewell to a

pink elephant


I’ve listened to many stories about the Commercial Street Mall, how good it is, how bad it is.

Well, I have lived in Atchison since 1954. We moved here from Hiawatha. When we moved here, there were 20,000 people in Atchison, things were great. Stores were great. Lots of jobs for everyone. Then came the flood, and it flooded up to 10th Street. Well, we recovered.

Then the leaders of Atchison decided we needed a mall. So they voted to bring the biggest Pink Elephant into Atchison, at the cost of more than only One knows, and put it into Commercial Street, and called it the Mall. They said businesses would flock to Atchison. Ha ha ha.

What a joke. One person spoke out and told city leaders it would kill Atchison, called it crazy. John Liven and a few others fought against it with no luck. Well, it did kill Atchison, and in a short time, there was no changing it back.

So why tear the mall out, at the cost $2 million, when it will do no good? The leaders of Atchison might as well face it: Atchison will never be the same. Why close the barn door when the horses are already gone?



My thoughts on

the sidewalk trail


First, the concept of providing a place for citizens, as envisioned by the Riverfront Trail Project, is excellent. I do, however, question how most of the work has been done.

First, and most grievous, is the manner in which a bottleneck has been created on River Road. It is awkward and dangerous. Additionally, why is the lighting on the opposite side of the road from the sidewalk? And finally, the proximity to the Maczuk facility seems to make an uninviting place to walk.

I encourage our citizens and city officials and planners to revisit this project and correct the glaring inadequacies. I saw the photo of the two city trucks parked in the River Road “bottleneck,” and the unsafe condition is quite obvious. The rear wheels of the trucks are inches from touching the curbing, and the rear view mirrors of both trucks are very close.

During a recent conversation with a city commissioner, I heard that the narrowing of the road is “a good way to control the speed of traffic on the road.” Narrowing the road is not an improvement. Narrowing the road creates a safety issue.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but shouldn’t we direct our police department to use their personnel for traffic control instead of making the road narrow for that purpose?



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