Since the Checker's restaurant, located on Route 347 near the Smithhaven Mall, went out of business in less than a year, I'm not sure that too many people are longing for a burger ["Longing for a burger in the Land of No," Opinion, April 23]. Columnist Lane Filler has no clue as to how a Sonic restaurant would affect our residential neighborhood.
First, you cannot compare a Sonic restaurant to a Cheesecake Factory or Bahama Breeze. Those are indoor restaurants with sit-down service, while Sonic's patrons use loudspeakers to order food and eat in their idling cars. When they drive away, where do you think the garbage will land?
Second, the proposed entrance and exit is on Alexander Avenue, a residential street that also serves as a direct through-street to Smithhaven Mall. A Sonic would result in significantly increased traffic backing up and down the length of the street, and that could prevent residents from entering or exiting their driveways. It would also make it difficult for emergency vehicles to get into the neighborhood.
Finally, homes near the Sonic property would be affected by the sight of the 20-foot neon sign, shining brightly into their windows until the wee hours, not to mention the increased smells of grease, garbage and exhaust fumes wafting through their yards.
Michael Kadan, Nesconset
Editor's note: The writer is a member of the Smithtown East Civic Association.