ARGYLE – Meadow Bend residents Denita Dickson and Karolyn Fox aren’t happy with the additional traffic and rubbernecking attention to Randall Piercy’s roadside stand outside their neighborhood.
The intersection of Argyle Forest Blvd and Meadow Bend Lane has always been a busy one, with plenty of traffic and a fair amount of noise. That traffic and noise, primarily honking horns, has escalated significantly since Piercy started selling President Donald Trump souvenirs from the roadside.
“It has nothing to do with the fact that he is selling Trump merchandise,” said Fox, who is a registered Republican. “The amount of horns honking is ridiculous, and the amount of obscenities yelled all day long is ridiculous. I’ve got a pool out back and I’m out in my backyard quite a bit and it’s very disturbing.”
“For or against, it doesn’t matter,” added Dickson.
Dickson and Fox say that there are constant refrains of “Go Trump!” or “F- Trump!” from drivers that can be heard in the neighborhood.
Fox and Dickson aren’t concerned with what Piercy is selling. They are not only concerned with the noise and with the traffic, but they feel that his presence has led to potential safety issues on and near that corner. Both women point to Piercy’s customers who, according to them, stop on the side of the road, in the right-hand turning lane and off the corner on Meadow Brook Lane itself. Also, there is a school bus stop on that corner, and they say that besides safety concerns, children don’t need to hear a lot of the inappropriate language.
Fox has called the city [of Jacksonville] and has written to the mayor about what she sees as a disturbance, safety concerns and traffic congestion.
“People pulling over to check out the hats and then pulling back onto Argyle causes traffic congestion,” Fox wrote in her email to Mayor Curry. “Trust me; you can tell the difference when people are honking in support of Trump or when they honk because someone pulled in front of them trying to get back on to Argyle. This goes on all day long, seven days a week, from 10 a.m. until well after dark. I understand he has his permit and has a ‘right' to be there. My question is, where do me and my neighbors' rights come in?”
Both the mayor and the city verified that as long as Piercy is licensed, he can continue to sell his goods at his current spot.
Piercy is licensed and has been at his location for about seven months now.
He contends that his business isn’t responsible for extra noise, safety issues, or traffic congestion on the street.
“When I’m not here, there’s still honking going on because of this intersection,” said Piercy. “This is a very dangerous intersection and whether I’m here or not, there’s still honking going on. Richard [Simpson, Non-Partisan peanut vendor who often sets up on the corner of Argyle Forest Blvd. and Meadow Bend Lane] even told me that.
“As far as safety goes, I’m bringing safety. I stand here and I watch cars take chances when they pull out. I saw an accident happen right here. The accidents are coming from this road here that’s uncontrolled intersection [Argyle Forest Blvd, and Meadow Bend Ln.]. This intersection itself is dangerous. That’s the danger.”
Piercy made it clear that although he is a Trump supporter, it’s not all about Trump. He has a company, Drive 2 Bless Inc, that he says some of the proceeds from his sales go to. He says he helps the Trump campaign, the homeless and military support groups.