Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors
Press Release

Supervisors Borkowski, Mayo Say Mall Owner Playing Dangerous Game of “Simon Says”

The Simon Co., owner and operator of Southridge Mall, says bus passengers are not very welcome.

By - Oct 22nd, 2013 10:58 am

The Simon Co., owner and operator of Southridge Mall, says bus passengers are not very welcome. Simon says that effective November 1, just in time for the holiday shopping season; buses may no longer serve entrances to their property. Instead they say buses should quickly drop off passengers 1,000 feet from the doors in a parking area with traffic lanes.

This will be a huge inconvenience for shoppers, some of whom are elderly, others who may have disabilities or are parents with small children. This move will make it more difficult for Southridge employees, often low-paid employees who may be bus-dependent. And the company says that if Milwaukee County Transit disagrees, they will be banished altogether and can leave their passengers in the neighborhoods of Greendale and Greenfield.

Will the business owners of Southridge Mall do as Simon says? Do they think it’s okay to reduce the independence of people with disabilities who save money by using the bus? Are they okay with erecting further barriers for people who use wheelchairs or white canes? Is the money of some customers more valuable than others?

Simon says buses cause damage to property, but doesn’t make any mention of semi-trailers, hundreds of thousands of cars, weather, and general wear and tear. Is there not a cost inherent in doing business? And is it reasonable to believe that the cost of bus service is greater than the revenue?

“Simon Says” was innocent and fun as a childhood game. Playing this game of Simon says, however, is anything but. There is nothing innocent or fun about bullying people yearning to be independent, workers seeking the American dream, employers building a workforce, or our neighborhoods. Together we must decide if we will do as Simon says.

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