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Raleigh pharmacy owner says city repairs hurt small business

Posted September 26, 2012

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— When the City of Raleigh tore up the sidewalk in front of a downtown pharmacy, the owner decided to fire back with a message that's getting attention from passersby.

John Johnson, who owns Hamlin Drug Company on Hargett Street, posted a sign on the sidewalk that reads: "This mess the city left is normally left in front of a small business. Why?"

The sign caught the attention of Terron Epps, who works downtown.

"I stopped, looked and took a picture of it," Epps said.

That's what Johnson hoped would happen.

"I will take this time to not only vent my frustration, but share it with some of the other people (downtown)," Johnson said.

He said city-hired contractors tore up the sidewalk in front of his business last week to upgrade a cable line. The sidewalk had not been fixed as of Wednesday.

Hamlin Drug sidewalk Raleigh pharmacy owner says city repairs hurt small business

Jed Niffenegger, a senior transportation engineer for the city, said that, by contract, workers are supposed to make sidewalk repairs within five days. In Johnson's case, the repairs are one day late.

"This work needs to be done," Niffenegger said. "We certainly don't want to leave a bad taste in anyone's mouth."

But Johnson accused the city of making repairs that affect small businesses a lower priority.

"I don't think they'd leave this barricade up at Meymandi Hall or Progress Energy, at the front entrance there," he said. 

Niffenegger said the city is upgrading fiber optic cable lines throughout downtown for crosswalk displays and that contractors have no choice but to work on those lines in the public rights of way.

He said the sidewalk in front of Hamlin Drugs will be repaired Wednesday night.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Nunya123 Sep 27, 2012

    Went from a ticked off business owner (who really had no reason to be ticked off, but he did get his businesses name on TV) to a conspiracy theory. Love GOLO. It is the best comedy on the Internet.

  • sinenomine Sep 27, 2012

    Slow news day.

    A few years ago a Raleigh work crew came out on a Sunday and dug a hole in the street in front of my house.

    Three weeks later when the hole was still there and nobody had come back I called the city and asked when they were going to complete the repair. I was told that no one had any record of the hole being dug in the first place.

    Another crew of three or four guys filled in the hole the next day.

  • gingerlynn Sep 27, 2012

    And our tax dollars get to PAY for big brother to watch us!

  • jsok123 Sep 27, 2012

    Big Brother "watching out" for us.

  • JustAName Sep 27, 2012

    "Something else is afoot that their hiding from the public." - markemails

    The "displays" have cameras in them.

  • Boycott_WRAL_Advertisers Sep 26, 2012

    They use a single coaxial cable to transmit both the Internet traffic and television to your neighborhood homes.

    There's no need to install such high capacity, and very expensive, fiber optic cable to simply handle "crosswalk displays".

    Something else is afoot that their hiding from the public.