Man vs. McDonald's

By KBJR News 1

August 16, 2011 Updated Aug 17, 2011 at 9:43 AM CST

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - If you've visited the drive–through at McDonald's restaurant on London Road and 21st Street East in Duluth recently, you may have seen more than just an enticing menu.

For many McDonald's is a fast and inexpensive way to get a tasty bite.
But for one Duluth man it's a source of serious frustration.
Jack Bratrud shares a property line with the McDonald's on London Road and his once scenic backyard view has been transformed into an up–close look at the McDonalds drive–through.

When the restaurant recently remodeled it removed several large, 40–year–old pine trees to make more room for its drive–through.
Bratrud says with the trees gone his home value took an immediate drop, plus the increased noise, commotion and light, shattered the peace he used to enjoy in his backyard.

"McDonald's angled all of their lights, so what we have is a football field in our backyard 24 hours a day. And we have that noise constantly all day, and it wasn't so bad when we had trees because we had trees and it kind of muffled where we forgot about McDonald's; but now we don't," said Bratrud.

In a show of frustration Bratrud has placed signs on his property line, very visible to all customers in the McDonald's drive through lanes.
He says it's a small way for him to stand up to the corporate giant.

He also said, "In the city all the emphasis is on business, not on residential. And yet residential is what makes a city. We make the city, McDonald's and other corporations like that do not make the city."

Customers we spoke to in the drive–through lanes had mixed reactions to the signs.

Bob Gibbons of Duluth said, "I think everyone has a right to their opinion and how they want to, you know, do things. But we come here quite often because you know it is a little cheaper than some of the other places are."

Bratrud knows that his protest is a small one, but he feels that taking some type of action is better than doing nothing.

On the topic of this signs he said, "I made a statement to the public going through. Whether they react to it or they don't react to it, at least it's doing something. I hope customers see that sign, and I hope customers relish what is being said by that sign."

We reached out to McDonalds Corporate for a response.
In an e–mail statement to the Northland's NewsCenter officials stated quote: "Throughout the rebuilding process, we engaged local officials and nearby residents to make sure we made every reasonable accommodation in order to be the best possible neighbor."

Posted to the web by: Maria Schmidt
mschmidt@northlandsnewscenter.com

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