One cannot help but lament that when the original Wal-Mart proposal was made, and Pullman residents were told its effect would not be felt beyond the need for one stoplight at Harvest and Bishop, the city of Pullman did not direct Wal-Mart to spend $45,000 on an independent traffic study of this magnitude."Baghdad" Chris Lupke, "Bishop traffic study supports PARD claims," June 4, 2008
Thus, substantial evidence supports the examiner's findings that the TIA used proper methodology to estimate new daily trips and the determination that the TIA is technically adequate. PARD did not submit its own evidence that the TIA significantly underestimated traffic numbers. PARD thus failed to carry its burden under LUPA. PARD's argument that the examiner improperly shifted the burden of proof to PARD is without merit.- Opinion issued by Court of Appeals Division III, State of Washington, Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development v. CLC Associates of Spokane Valley, City of Pullman, and S&W Land Company, June 3, 2008
Sorry, Chris, it is PARD that cannot help but lament that it never conducted an independent traffic study of its own rather than parse and throw spitballs at studies conducted by the state and the City of Pullman. $45,000 seems a small price to pay to stop the Bentonville Behemoth. The lack of any such studies or empirical evidence specific to Pullman presented by PARD is a common thread in the appellate court's decision to reject their appeal.
Perhaps they were afraid what such a study would find. The absurd dichotomy of PARD's argument that Wal-Mart would simultaneously destroy all business in Pullman and lead to urban light AND dramatically increase traffic was always going to be problematic for them. Such are the perils of the kitchen-sink approach.
Of course, Lu Laoshi submitted this column days before the Wal-Mart decision was released. Unfortunately for him, it now comes off as 13th hour pleading and/or a pathetic apologia for PARD's existence. Already, one can imagine them trying to spin this devastating loss as somehow a positive by saying through their efforts, Wal-Mart agreed to pay for another stop light on Bishop (although according to Lupke, not nearly enough. BTW Chris, I think $1 million plus extra a year in tax revenues for the city of Pullman from Wal-Mart more than covers $9.1 million in needed traffic improvements by 2027, with plenty to spare) PARD rejected that opportunity two years ago when they took their appeal to the Whitman County Superior Court, thus forever ruining any chance at claiming victory or community goodwill.
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