To the Editor:

Regarding the press release sent out by the LSAC on the closing of Macy's (old L S. Ayres) at Lafayette Square Mall, I will say this about continuing to shop there when possible.
I will, if I can still get there, without taking a circuitous and slow route to get there. As it is now, I must navigate around the impass of IMS property, usually by the familiar and fairly easy travel route of going north on Grande to Polco then up Georgetown Road to Lafayette Rd. (bypassing even the almost-as-close 38th St. corridor over to Lafayette Rd). to enter the mall or adjacent shopping areas without too much difficulty. I chose to go up Georgetown Rd. to the north mall entrance just to skip the congestion and dangerous intersection of 38th and Lafayette Rd. But it is the availability of staying away from the risks and headaches of the location above that determines how often and even if, I want to patronize Lafayette Rd. areas. When coming back west from places on 38th St. (State Fairgrounds, etc.) unless I plan to stop in the Laf. Rd. area, I will take another route to avoid that intersection. I take Fall Creek to 16th (to Polco, etc.) back or down Cold Springs Rd. to 16th (maybe 30th), again to miss 38th and Lafayette Rd. unless that is my specific destination.

Having lived, during my initial driving days, a block off Georgetown Rd., I was there (and an employee of one of the first shops) when the mall was constructed back when nothing was there but the still-out-in-the country Lafayette Rd. Drive In was popular, so shopping in this vicinity was a big part of my life when I began working and spending my own money. As a non-driver I walked to Eagledale Plaza or Speedway Shopping Center to spend my allowance. Speedway was more interesting, with Topps, but only MCL where we could buy a fountain Coke. So when I started driving, I followed the same patterns, living north of Speedway at that time. Georgetown opened up new vistas for me.

Now, the LS area is challenged, as are many other westside neighborhoods including my own current, but long-time one. It is easier to simply drive out to Hendricks county and all the retailers who have leap-frogged from local big box sites to far flung cornfields following the tried and true formula; shopping follows rooftops (homes).I can use wide, safe, well lit, well populated roads with fewer or synchronized traffic lights for the most part, to a whole collection of stores and services I want and need.

It already is more difficult to drive the much-closer Speedway area stores that I would prefer to shop as I devotee of local businesses by dint of being a community leader. I think you should walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Getting to Lafayette Square area means going up Georgetown for me as it is the most direct route on a 4 lane, 40 MPH few-traffic lights way to get there. If I have to only drive 30 MPH on Lynhurst, plus slow down even more in up to 7 zones that require it, I will not be happy about or willing to share that ride with the thousands of others who also don't have a minute to waste who will be forced to use it. I get off Lynhurst as quickly as I can most of the time. Parking between 16th and 25th also cramps available lanes too often, to make it a smooth, safe drive.

I will simply go somewhere else that makes it easy for me and makes me feel welcomed.I already head for the Walmart up there on Lafayette Rd. rather than carry my business (and sales tax) to another county that I don't live in. However, I choose to shop at the Avon Meijer's over the Pike Plaza one because it is easier to get to Avon and more is nearby. I have to take a weird roundabout way to get to Pike (with apologies to PTRA), so I don't even think about the store being there that often. It is out of sight and out of mind for me. Same goes for Menards which I shop amost weekly. I go to Avon, not Pike township for the same reason.
I also lived in the Haughville area when I was youngerl, still have many friends and some family there and have no qualms about going through the neighborhood to get to the places I want to visit because of fears, but I will avoid it if there is congestion, delays and all that accompanies 2 lane Tibbs, inner-Wayne 10th (where parking is allowed from CSX tracks all the way to the river) taking up a lane, plus multiple turnoffs either right or left making my travel slower and more frustrating. I have to admit I am want to get where I'm going with a minimum of problems or I won't go.

So, people making the coming decisions, and people who can or should have something to say about it if you want to attract my patronage and that of others I may speak to, remember that little things like convenience add up and determine where I will go, spend, support and promote actively because I received good value not only for my bucks, but my time which is even more important.

I may not be able to vote for the people or the decisions that plans to close Georgetown Road in the near future, but you can take this to the bank....I WILL vote with my feet and wheels and from what I'm hearing, I'm not alone. My own neighborhood based organization includes an area that is larger than the entire town of Speedway, and we represent a significant economic force that must be served by someone willing to accommodate us as easily and conveniently as possible.

Merri Anderson
Garden City (south of 10th St.) neighbor and consumer