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Proposed McDonalds for Mack Avenue Solves One Problem, But Can Create Others

While the food chain would alleviate a vacant building issue, it is not the right choice for neighboring Grosse Pointe.

I don't want a . I don't want the traffic and I don't want to see a 24-hour business open in our community, albeit on the Detroit side.

In addition to that, the main reason I don't want to see a McDonalds constructed on Mack Avneue is that I don’t like fast food. I don’t like the additives, the sodium, the high fat content of the great majority of what these establishments serve. I really don’t like that they market to children, who grow up believing that a Whopper and fries is an all-American dinner.

I have been fighting the fast-food war in my home for years--pretty much since our son was old enough to recognize the golden arches and request Chicken McNuggets. I have to admit that for a number of years I gave in, allowing him a few fries and nuggets as long as he drank milk with them. I never gave a second thought about the cute little toy that gave him about 30 minutes of fun before finding its way to the floor of the backseat, and ultimately into the trash.

Then I thought about that darned toy. Hard plastic--something that will never breakdown and will, instead, live in a landfill or float in the South Pacific for years and years to come before it is possibly eaten by a bird, which, in turn, will die. Fast-food restaurants create these toys for one reason alone--to lure in children.

But more than the toys and the greasy food, I am against a McDonalds because it steals our unique look and feel. Of course we have and joints, and . These are chain restaurants, but are certainly not in the same stratosphere as McDonalds. Big fast-food restaurants fill the world, providing quick and (largely) unhealthy meals. I want to hold on to Grosse Pointe's culture of supporting mom-and-pop restuarants. I don't want the Pointes to look just like other communities that have given in to the mega-chain spread.

There is a logistic reason against a high-traffic business on Mack near Moran Road as well. I’ve read what . The “M” streets such as Moran are filled with homes that have young children.

"We are already the superhighway of Grosse Pointe . . . and certainly don't need any more traffic," Moran resident Sara Lolar wrote on the Grosse Pointe Patch Facebook page.

This is a big problem and one that should be addressed by the regardless whether there is a McDonalds at the end of the street or not.

But in the end, we don’t have a say, do we? , not Grosse Pointe, where we have ordinances against fast food restaurants. The bottom line is that the McDonalds will likely be built. Engineers will claim they have it configured so that traffic will not back up onto Mack. Of course it will back up onto Mack–probably from 3:30 until 7 p.m. with the after school traffic and “dinner” crowd, and maybe even in the morning as McDonald's officials have identified as a busy time of day.

It is tempting to want anything to dealership location, to get rid of the weeds and make it look nice. Let's hope it's something that can add real value to our community, not another generic and all-too-popular chain. 

Francis Fairbanks July 02, 2011 at 02:59 PM
The bottom line is, stop complaining. Based on the new "urban demographic" overtaking GP, you're lucky you're getting a McDonald's and not a White Castle or a Waffle House.
John F Martin July 02, 2011 at 06:25 PM
Wow, Francis, wow. It's 2011, can we leave the racism behind yet? No wonder our community has such a bad reputation for not fostering diversity. Go back to the hole from which you came.
P G July 02, 2011 at 06:35 PM
Sure, Francis may have implied something with "urban demographic," but crying racist is not going to solve the problem just like being racist. Connotations aside, he or she is pointing to something that is true. Educated and professional minorities (which I fall under) have lived in the Pointes for decades. This new crowd, regardless of race, is the reason there are so many more incidents in areas we thought to be safe.
Me, not somebody else July 02, 2011 at 07:00 PM
I think you're reading into his comment too much. I don't like White Castle either, but it's because I pay for a burger and they punch all those little holes in them. I'm getting cheated out of my meat. And Waffle House, don't get me started. It's not even a house, let alone made of waffles.
FarmsResident July 02, 2011 at 07:52 PM
Wait until Trooper2 (dpd helicopter) is doing circles over gpf at 3:00am. Yeah 24 he operation...good idea...dug.
Francis Fairbanks July 02, 2011 at 08:03 PM
Seriously? Trash is trash no matter what color the skin. Is it even a debatable fact that the housing market crash has allowed the inner city elements to migrate to the points?? Black, white or whatever, relocating to a nicer neighborhood doesn't wash away the scum. They bring their bad behavior with them. And yes, I know the difference between educated minorities and the ones that consciously re-enforce the stereotypes. Unfortunately, the stereotypes are moving in.
GPF Mother July 03, 2011 at 11:33 PM
The author indicates she's against the proposed McDonald's for reasons that really have to do with fast food in general (health) and the environment (plastic toys). Those are issues for the McDonald's corporation, and not related to the current zoning issue at hand. As to not upsetting the "unique" character of GP with a chain restaurant, what about all the other chains we've welcomed? Ann Taylor, The Gap, Starbucks, Talbots,…obviously, I could go on and on. Our town hosts many franchises. This proposed McDonald's has been uniquely designed and landscaped - by a local couple who are the owners, to be tasteful and consistent with our community. Why not be grateful for that and just look at the bright side? I, for one, look forward to the end of overgrown vacant lot and am sure my teenage children will occasionally use the restaurant. Also, the owners clearly indicated at the public hearing that it is their policy to seek a 24 hour drive thru license, but that does not necessarily mean that they would exercise such a license. It's quite likely they would simply close at 10 or 11 like most businesses in the area. Finally, as to increased traffic on Moran and Mack, that's an issue for the Grosse Pointe Farms Police, who seem quite capable.
E. Jones September 07, 2011 at 02:22 AM
It is pathetic that someone would think that McDonald's is not the right choice for neighboring Grosse Pointe. Grosse Pointers frequent the St. Clair Shores McDonald's on a regular basis, we don't have to drive as far. This business will bring jobs and vitality to an area hard hit by the recession. Bring it on!
Chris K September 07, 2011 at 03:17 AM
Well said Francis. It took courage to do so and fend off the charge of "racist" while doing it. And as PG notes, the "new crowd" is increasing the number of incidents we all find disturbing yet when we comment on this reality someone reads racism into the equation even when it is not stated. Gotta wonder why that is so. But how do we as community members speak out and take action to keep our community viable without being called racist?

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