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QuikTrip Move Opponent Creates Online Petition

He said his personal goal is the safety of the children who go to Maplewood Richmond Heights schools.

A Richmond Heights resident has made an online petition to collect signatures for those against the QuikTrip move.

Jeff Kiefer said besides the obvious goal to stop 's relocation to the northwest corner of Manchester Road and Big Bend Boulevard, "my personal goal is to make sure that the development of that property be one that is safest for the children of MRH."

He said the proposal would create much more traffic on Martini Drive and back up in through the school's neighboring streets.

"Today it is hard enough to park a visiting football team's bus on Martini," he said. "Try managing safety on a Friday night during a game, a play or a dance with the traffic or delivery semis that will be along Martini on a game night."

He said others have their own reasons for not wanting the relocation to happen.

Kiefer said he's getting the word out to collect signatures by word of mouth, Facebook and email. As of midnight, Thursday, there were 140 signatures on the petition.

The Maplewood Planning and Zoning Commission gave the move its approval with a 3-2 vote at its July 2 meeting.

The Maplewood City Council will consider QuikTrip's rezoning request at its Aug. 14 meeting, but will not vote then. There will be a public hearing on the proposal that night.

Go to Keifer's online petition against the Maplewood QuikTrip relocation.

See related articles on Patch:

Jeff Kiefer July 09, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Gary, I agree that site lines will be dramatically improved. However, this improvement will be negated by the excessive traffic along Martini. As planned QT's drawings show there won't even be entrance/exit lanes along Martini. The curb there will be flat so entrance/exit into the station to and from Martini will be random, not thru specific lanes. So clearly knowing where cars might be coming from even as you walk on the sidewalk on this part of the property will be problematic. This is only one problem with the Martini factor. The other is that only having one exit with left turn onto northbound BB will push more drivers to use Martini and likely have them turning north on Martini. Just the other day I watched someone trying to turn left onto BB out of the service station exit. They sat there for two cycles of the BB/Manchester light before I made my turn out of sight. This was at 3:20 PM Friday afternoon. I drive this intersection every Friday at that time. Try that turn when it's a QT or in rush hour and you bet folks will be trying alternate exits to get to north bound BB...they will be headed up Martini to Rannels. Even with crossing guards, paying money for football uniforms and whatever other money they throw at the school and city, QT must alter their plans for Martini before I can support them.
Jeff Kiefer July 09, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Brandon, no one is trying to limit the personal freedoms of the owners of the property. The property is currnelty not permitted for use as a gas station and the owner of the property and QT are aware of this. QT is applying for a PUD permit that only the city of Maplewood can grant them. This is just fact. We live in a capitalistic society governed by social contract. Like it or not this means we give up some individual rights to our government in order to protect rights we might not other wise be able to protect on our own. In this case it is the zoning rights of the city. This is how the democracy is built...not without fault or corruption to be sure but without it you could open a gas station where you live or even a crack house to use your example. The permit process is in place for that reason, to ensure it's citizens are protected and the community interests at large are considered. You and I agree much more than it appears. But I just believe that the political process in place can lead us to getting BOTH what QT wants and what I want....profitable business and community safety. We can do both if all parties are committed to doing so.
Dachelle July 09, 2012 at 01:23 PM
I'm starting to get confused as to what the issue is here. QT, whether here or in another community, has always looked out for their neighborhoods. That's one of the things that set them apart. You know those signs on the side of their building that show that they are a safe place for children?? So far they have taken every concern and addressed it. They are offering more visibility for cars and pedestrians at the intersection, they are offering a turning lane to address possible congestion and now a crossing guard. Do you really think they won't address the dirty alley? Have they specifically said that they refuse to do anything with that area?? As far as children crossing that, I agree with Brandon. If you haven't taught your children how to look both ways, YOU shouldn't have become a parent and if they can't use their common sense, well, figure it out. As far as trucks flying into that area: first of all, most deliveries don't take place during the business' busiest time of the day which is also when school starts and second, look at how they have to turn, they will see the children WAY before they'll ever reach them. And as for walking down the alley to reach the school... I have a really crazy, wacked out idea....a sidewalk. I know, it's really crazy and futuristic but I think we should give it a try.
TP July 09, 2012 at 01:38 PM
The concern with Martini isn't a dity alley. The concern is that QT wants to take a narrow street that isn't much more than an alley and turn it into a main thoroughfare for their delivery trucks and customers. This is the same area where busses dropoff and load students and where there is a huge volume of pedstrian traffic. The area is barely wide enough for two cars, much less a school bus and a semi. In addition to the increased traffic, the exit from QT onto Martini isn't a driveway with a disignated area for cars to enter and exit. It is actually a huge opening in the parking lot with no lanes where cars can be coming at you from anywhere. OUR CHILDREN AREN'T STUPID. INATTENTIVE DRIVERS ARE HITTING CHILDREN IN THE CROSSWALKS WHEN THEY ARE CROSSING WITH THE LIGHT. I don't know how to state this any more clearly. If it is happening now, without a CVS and QT, then it stands to reason there will be more problems when drivers have additional distractions. Here's an idea for anyone who thinks the problem is with the kids. Strap on a 20 pound backpack and try to cross these intersections at 7:50am. See how many cars run up on you trying to beat you to make a turn or just don't look at you. Walk in their shoes and THEN tell me who you think is stupid.
Babsgarcia July 09, 2012 at 02:38 PM
If they were talking about putting this next to an elementary school, I might agree, but as it stands--I beleive QT should be allowed to move. As stated several times above; these are not 6 year olds and change happens. The current building is an eyesore --a good corporate citizen is offering to move in, update and work with the school...What more do people want? I am a Maplewood parent and I do not have an issue with QT. Even as a parent I agree with the posts above...you don't take away pencils because they have the potential to poke someone in the eye! Personal Responsibility should be in play long before our kids arrive at high school. QT appears to be willing to bend over backwards to have this work out...maybe MRH should step back and work with them in return instead of trying to rule the roost. Not all citizens of Maplewood beleive the MRH school district hung the moon. While paying the highest tax rate for a school district, maybe the powers that be at MRH should keep in mind that a) not all citizens are in agreement with their viewpoint on this and b) alienating their voting tax supporters isn't the best way to go.
Brandon Jones July 09, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Walk in their shoes? Like I was never a high school student that ha to cross a major interection to get to school? Granted mine was Brentwood & Manchester, but still. I've done it, an I watched out for myself.
Dachelle July 10, 2012 at 03:42 PM
TP, if your kids are in that much danger, why aren't you driving them to school? Are you saying that it's ok if a few kids get hit by cars now but if Quick Trip tries to increase visibility, offers a sidewalk and a crossing guard all for the children's safety, that's not ok? I'm confused at the part you're opposing. Is it the crossing guard? Are you afraid that the guard will be a messenger of satan and push the teenagers into traffic? Or maybe it's the sidewalk, the evil QT might make it out of flowing molten lava and burn our children to death? I think people are getting their panties in a bunch over nothing. Maybe it's fear of change. Or maybe you have nothing better to do than argue. I don't know, but when you complain about things that have already been addressed, you look like an idiot.
Jeff Kiefer July 10, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Daschelle, not speaking for TP here but she has said a few times that her child has already been hit walking with a "walk sign" light and a crossing guard. Going from nearly zero to peak times of 200-300 cars entering exiting a 1.6 acre site even with a crossing guard only increases the hazards. Add those hundreds, plus added cvs traffic and TP has legitimate concerns. I will reiterate also that QT's plans on Martini have no exit/entrance lanes...just a wide open area with no curb. They need to address that and the fact that there will be drivers hurrying north along Martini during and after school hours where there will be no guard. It's just not a good idea to knowingly route hurried motorists alongside a middle and high school campus. There are ways to improve the plan that will address my and TP's valid concerns.
Jeff Kiefer July 10, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Daschelle, You may believe we are overprotective or even irresponsible for letting our children walk to school but there is nothing wrong with opposing the plans written in hopes that the city will press QT to alter them. The city might also alter the configuration of Martini or make it one way South from the school on to Manchester. There are solutions and compromise is inevitable but only if all parties are so committed. Compromise is in my vocabulary as it is in many of our petition signees I have spoken to. QT has shown willingness to as well with offers of a crossing guard. But I feel more is needed to improve their proposal and hope they will consider some of these ideas to relieve these valid safety issues.
Dachelle July 10, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Jeff, I absolutely agree with the process of compromise and so far QT has been addressing the concerns that have come to them. They wouldn't be so successful if they didn't care about the communities in which they are located. While you seem to be level headed, TP seems to be attacking QT before they can even respond. And again, if the children are currently in danger, why is she letting them walk in harms way every day?
Dachelle July 10, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Also, even though your response was quite reasonable, you spelled my name wrong twice when it was right above the space in which you were writing.
TP July 10, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Wow, DACHELLE, I'm really not sure what I said to provoke all that, but it does nothing to dampen my committment to the safety of the children in the MRH school district. It is NEVER okay for ANY child to be hit. Visibility isn't the issue. Inattentive drivers are the issue. Not every parent has the flexibility to drive their children to school. I do drive mine every day that I can, but even if I can drop them off I can't be there to pick them or take them to and from every team practice or school event. I have nothing against crossing guards. The school district employs one at the intersection now, but a crossing guard is not Superman and cannot stop a car when the driver isn't paying attention. The driver has to be paying attention in order to see a crossing guard as well. I agree with Jeff that compromise is the key here and it is my responsibility as a parent to let my concerns be heard so they can be addressed. I have done so in each appropriate forum - this posting being just one of those forums. I'm really not sure what QT has done that could be described as bending over backwards. There have been few, if any, changes made since they subitted their first set of plans. I don't think QT is malicious or evil. I just think they need to look at the site and think more about safety in their design. I'm am not anti-QT, I just want to see a safer layout.
Jeff Kiefer July 10, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Dachelle, I'm a horrible two thumbs typist. Hope you'll accept my sincerest apologies.
Dachelle July 10, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Hahaha, you're fine. That wouldn't be the worst butchering of my name. I was in one hell of a mood this morning. I'll blame it on the PMS. ; p
Babsgarcia July 10, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Dachelle, thanks for the laugh earlier. I completely see where you are coming from. And thanks to Jeff for being on a more even keel. I find it interesting that though pretty active in the community I have never heard about "all these kids being hit at Martini". For all these 'hit incidents' that are apperently happening but not reported anywhere, absolutely none of them are due to kids not paying attention? All are due to inatentive drivers?? Come on parents, kids don't take responsibility these days because too many parents do not expect them to and expect to protect them from absolutely everything. As I said before, we aren't talking about 10 year olds--these are kids at an age that should know how to cross a street as well as maybe taking a step further and ensuring eyecontact with a driver before crossing!. If this is such an issue, why hasnt the school addressed it by having kids cross at the school? Or walking straight out to Big Bend through all the open lots then crossing at the light at manchester and big bend? Or making Martini a one way... or...one of any other dozen options...lets face it, this is a seperate issue that if true should have been addressed and resolved long ago. (unless they werent options if heaven forbid they had to walk an extra 40 yards or something) It's really feeling more like an excuse by those who oppose the QT for whatever reason.
Jeff Kiefer July 10, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Babsgarcia, if I have not already said it I will again echo what TP said, that we are not here "to oppose QT". I would like very much for the site to bedeveloped and Maplewood retain the QT tax revenue and corporate citizen. Nowhere in my petition do I state opposition to QT's proposal for any other reason than safety and the desire to have better assurance on the vacant lot they may leave behind. That's all the petition states. If I thought we could get this sort of cooperation out of the city and QT by just asking for it and avoid the perception that I simply "oppose QT" I would have. But as it stands i felt the petition was the best way to drive a safety minded compromise. Also we are talking about more than just the children walking and crossing streets to school. I also have concerns with increased traffic around the campus due to drivers seeking northbound BB via north bound Martini. Crossing guards won't address this so I stand firm asserting that the plan as submitted is in need of alterations. I encourage you and anyone else who strongly wants QT to develop there not to just support QT's plan as it is but to review it closely, consider my arguments and decide if QT or thecity should make alterations. Then encourage the city leaders to pay very close attention to the Martini issue and provide their leadership to help create a compromise that brings about a safe development. This is all I seek and welcome your support. . I apologize in advance for any typos.
Doug Miner July 10, 2012 at 09:56 PM
QuikTrip folks (if you don't mind being called that) - Maplewood public works director Anthony Traxler gave me a copy of the traffic report done for QT, and the content of that report will be the lead article tomorrow.
TP July 11, 2012 at 04:11 AM
i just want to clarify because I think in all the conversations my concerns have blurred together. The current traffic issues are with kids trying to cross Big Bend and Manchester WITH the lights and IN the crosswalks that are getting brushed and bumped by drivers trying to make a quick right turn - especially East bound Manchester turning onto Big Bend and South bound Big Bend turning onto Manchester. There IS a crossing guard there and it isn't a guarantee of safety. As for going unreported, many incidents have been reported. They were reported to the City when the district was asking for police help at the intersection because of such instances - even after MRH hired a crossing guard. My concern with Martini is that the current plan dumps too much traffic onto Martini with no defined exit/entry point. The sidewalk is flush with the street making the entire area a free-for-all. Crossing Martini currently isn't a problem. HOWEVER, dumping this kind of volume on a street that is little more than an alley doesn't feel safe to me - especially when it combines school busses and delivery trucks. And lastly, I do not oppose QT. I simply oppose a construction plan that I feel is lacking in safety provisions.
HLM July 11, 2012 at 05:25 AM
I agree these are high school kids and should know how to cross the street. BUT I also realize, high school age kids (are still kids) Even adults get distracted while walking or driving. People (especially high school kids) talk on the phone, goof around with friends, text, listen to music, and sometimes make “STUPID MISTAKES OR DECISIONS" Should they have to pay for it with a life altering injury or their life? Will adding thousands of vehicles in their path tremendously multiply the chances of someone pedestrian or driver that is not paying attention have the unthinkable happen? As a driver I would be devastated if I hit a person (kid or adult) "EVEN IF IT WASN'T MY FAULT".
HLM July 11, 2012 at 05:46 AM
The kids that walk to school usually have no choice but to walk. This isn't Beverly Hills folks, the majority of households with 2 parents have both parents working. Is it reasonable to assume pedestrians will NEVER be distracted? NO, is it reasonable to think drivers will NEVER be distracted? NO. So why not make some changes to help insure safety of everyone. Why not make the parents feel their kids are safe? Jeff, has QT actually answered the question as to why there has to be an open parking lot with no curb on Martini, & why there cannot be a fence? I realize not every Richmond Heights or Maplewood resident has a school age child & some if not most are unhappy about the taxes paid for the school district. But isn't it true if we didn't pay these taxes & continually support upgrade our district to be able to keep up with this ever changing world, we would most likely have a non accredited district & EVERYONE’S property values would plummet. Not just families with kids. A huge majority of people in the market for homes have children & schools play a big role in where they buy.
Jeff Kiefer July 11, 2012 at 06:17 AM
I cannot answer your question Tracy...I am not in negotiations with QT nor is anyone really. Talks have broken down from what i can see. I am counting on the city to force a resolution. Taxes paid really have nothing to do with this debate. One person made the comment I think because they may feel that some of us are blindly following the school district becuase we think they "hung the moon" to use their words. The comments were made arguing that not everyone is so enamored with the district. That is fine and not an argument relevant to childrens' safety. It is a valid question whether or not we have done our homework or are we just lemmings following the district's viewpoints. I think that was her point. I hope that along the way of my many comments here I have proven that I have studied the plans, attended meetings and I have made a decision based upon my own judgment. To go and start talkign about tax dollars and debating how we feel about the district is good for another time but has nothing to do with QT's plan or childrens' safety. I would be agaisnt the development as written even if the district were unaccredited, even if our students were failing, not increasing test scores and getting into better colleges etc and even if our taxes were half what they are or even twice. I care about kids and safety of the neighborhood surrounding that school, period. I'd have created the petition if I had no kids in the school and no matter what I paid in taxes.
Jeff Kiefer July 11, 2012 at 01:55 PM
To anyone who signed the petition on QT's counter who now is reconsidering after having learned more about the development....please sign my petition at change.org. Put in the comment section that you previously signed the QT "for it" petition. I will be sure to have your signature removed from QT's "for it" petition. I have a copy of their petition and have already readjusted their numbers as they included over 76 non Maplewood or RH residents. I can remove your name as well if you like. It won't mean you just oppose QT but that you oppose the plan as written.
Dachelle July 11, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Ok, now that traffic and safety have been addressed: http://maplewood-brentwood.patch.com/articles/study-assesses-traffic-volume-and-pedestrian-safety-at-proposed-quiktrip-location?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001 What issues are left? I also want to point out this HUGE concern with the children: Crash history involving pedestrians Maplewood Police Lt. Mark Griffin indicated there have been no pedestrian fatalities in his 27-year tenure There have a been a few incidents resulting from students jaywalking across Manchester Road A student crossing guard is now posted to encourage students to cross legally (Note the Jaywalking)
Jeff Kiefer July 11, 2012 at 02:09 PM
I don't think we've heard the last on the Lt's comments. He or the city is going to need to explain why he is unaware of children hit or bumped that we're following crossing lights when the school and parents had as TP stated tried to enlist the city to get police assistance. I'm wondering how the Lt was never made aware. Who dropped that ball?
Babsgarcia July 11, 2012 at 03:12 PM
I am sorry if it seemed my point was soley bashing MRH, I'll try to clarify. For the record, I am a mother of school aged children; 11th & 4th grades and I am not a monster who does not have concern for kids safety. I have to chuckle though because I think I heard a foot stomp and arms crossed as somebody moves away because I'm a meanie. (trying to lighten the mood here) Let me try again; I get it, traffic will increase and in turn an exsisting problem could increase. Isn't everyone agreed that it would be nice to update that corner? I am sorry, but what is out there (and willing to come in, tear down, update) that wouldn't increase traffic? My frustration with the district in this particular case is that I do not understand WHY, that If this has been an issue and has continued to be an issue, hasn't MRH addressed it stronger, louder and more proactivly a long time ago? There have to be alternatives that could have been put in place long ago--here's one off the top of my head; Why not make Martini off limits to student pedestrians and direct students to cross at the light at city Hall? I am just thinking that we are not being honest with ourselves and the fact that If this has been going on, no matter who tries to update that corner it will be the same. If QT runs away because we expect them to fix a problem that exsisted before they arrived -- who knows what we'll end up with -- because it is obvious change is coming.
Jeff Kiefer July 11, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Not a bad idea Babsgarcia, crossing only at city hall. Would have to get some input from some folks and it may be the way to go if we cannot get QT to alter their plan. I also agree with you that the property really needs development. But making the children cross at city hall won't address the 195 cars (qT's projections) that will be turning onto Martini and an unknown number of them traveling north on Martini congesting the alley, campus and the neighborhood there. Still your idea may become part of a solution. Keep thinking like you are, creative solutions will make this work....it will also help overcome stalemates that will lead us to a bad development and ill will amongst otherwise well intentioned neighbors. But reasonable, creative people like you can help our city, school and QT leaders to overcome that. Let's not give up.
Babsgarcia July 12, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Thanks Jeff... I just hope all work together before running off a decent corporate citizen. As far as the additional traffic into the neighborhood, I have to say that I had those same concerns when the Walmart/Sams/Lowes was put almost in our backyard--nobody really cared outside of our small corner of Maplewood. And if I am completely honest, my initial concerns about "all that cut thru traffic we'd get" -- which I pounded my chest over at city hall -- never has materialized. For the most part, Martini is an alley after all...if people cut through to get to big bend, they'll be cutting through an alley, then making a right to the light and then out to Big Bend. Making it a one-way, or putting a "no thru traffic" with a visable police presence to kick off the new configuration could send a message of what is tollerated around the school. Just speaking from experience and the world I experienced when our loved home was put into the path of a Wal-mart when we never in a million years thought that was an option... I learned change comes, and nobody cares about what I think is bad until it impacts them directly
Jeff Kiefer August 11, 2012 at 10:32 PM
While walking some neighborhoods today getting sugnatures for our petition opposing this QT plan I knocked Gary Holt's door. Knowing i was there to talk about Quick Trip but not knowing who I was he invited me in. As we talked we realized we had talked about QT already via the discussion thread above. We had a great chat and a laugh or two. We agree on a point or two and disagree on a few as well. I post this here to promote the notion that two people who seem to mostly disagree can find ideas and solutions if they seek to understand eachother, embrace disagreement or differences and debate respectfully. Today we are constantly fed via the national media that such heartfelt respectful debate is not possible. Gary and I are one small proof that this is not true. Thanks again for the visit today Gary. You are a class act.
Gary E Holt August 11, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Thanks for the kind words, Jeff. (I have a small tear in my eye). I couldn't agree more with your comments about getting along with one another. Keep up the good fight.
Dachelle September 05, 2012 at 07:38 PM
So, to prove a point...from the window in my office on Manchester by Sutton, I just watched a teenage girl walking from the school almost get hit by a car while trying to walk across the street in the middle of the block because she was joking with a boy. Luckily the boy saw the car and no one was injured. Can you imagine how that driver would have felt had they injured her because of her own carelessness.

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