'We have a Main Street'
by Mark Vasto
A visit to Platte City Antiques on Main
Street will probably end with the manager, Larry Burrichter,
offering directions to other area antique stores such
as the Blue Rooster on Highway 92 or the Platte City
River Shoppe on 2nd Street.
Unfortunately for Burrichter, there arent enough
visitors lately, and that is leaving him and other area
merchants extremely frustrated and upset.
I try and tell everyone who leaves
here that there are three other malls in town and Id
put them up against what theyre selling down in
Kansas City, Burrichter said. I hope theyre
doing the same... it all helps.
Burrichter said the feedback he receives
from his customers is getting harder and harder to appreciate
as a rent-paying merchant on what it is supposed to
be the heart of town.
Ive got too many people coming
in (after visiting) the Blue Rooster telling me they
had no idea we were down here, Burrichter lamented.
One person told me Ive been driving
on Highway 92 for 11-years and I didnt know this
town even had a Main Street. When you have people
talking like that, there is something wrong with the
Burrichter, and many others on Main Street,
feel Platte City has insufficient signage for downtown
According to the Missouri Department of
Transportation, nearly 11,000 travellers use Highway
92 on any given day. As anyone who works on or near
Main Street can attest to, however, a decidedly smaller
amount of travellers drive on Main Street, despite its
access to I-29.
If that number is true (11,000/per
day) then theyre missing our sign, Burrichter
said, referring to the business district sign located
on Highway 92. They (visitors) dont even
know were up here.
Ed Ziggy Zygmontowicz, co-owner
of The Platte River Shoppe, said he is becoming accustomed
to hearing the same things.
I have coffee every morning at Caseys
(General Store on Highway 92) and if anythings
going on, or if theres a holiday, people are asking
wheres the courthouse? Nobody ever
knows where Main Street is. The exit sign on I-29 (exit
19) doesnt say Main Street, it only says Highway
Burrichter said that merchants have contacted
MoDOT about expanding signage on I-29 and Highway 92,
but so far have had a rough go of it.
They basically told me if youre
not a restaurant, if you dont board people or
sell them gasoline... forget it, Burrichter said,
adding that he doesnt feel such a system is fair.
When contacted by The Landmark, a spokesperson
for the department said staff would research signage
requirements and possibilities that may exist for Platte
City merchants. As of press time, such information was
not made available.
Karen Wagoner, Platte City Chamber of
Commerce director, said she has approached MoDOT in
the past in regards to the signage as well.
I spoke with MoDOT about adding
signs at Hwy. 92 and Marshall Road and Fourth Street
that pointed to dining, shopping and the historic courthouse,
Wagoner said, adding that the chamber was trying to
ascertain exactly what the city could and could not
do in terms of adding signage.
I do know that theyve gotten
similiar requests and have gotten really leniant in
Independence and North Kansas City, Weggoner said.
The chamber just cant afford to do this
on their own. We need help from the city.
She said she approached city administrator
Keith Moody nearly four months ago in regards to the
issue but said that for a few discussions, the city
administrator hasnt followed up with her.
Moody, who was out of the office on vacation
at the time of this writing, was unable to be reached
for comment. Platte City Mayor Dave Brooks, while attending
a meeting of the Platte City Area Development Association,
said that while the matter was largely one that needed
to be handled by MODOT, the city aldermen would help
in any way they could.
This isnt a contentious issue,
Wagoner said. It doesnt matter to me who
gets this done, but we do need to get this done.