The above graphic shows how the Area C proposal fits in with the neighborhood. (Photo illustration by Andrew Jackson)

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

An opponent-funded review of the Keizer Station Area C traffic impact analysis calls the developer’s study “inaccurate” and “flawed.”

The review by Rick Nys of Greenlight Engineering states the original traffic impact analysis (TIA) “may understate the effects of the proposed development on the transportation system.”

According to the latest information from Kittelson and Associates, the firm which prepared the Area B and C traffic studies, once built out the development will generate about 940 total trips during the afternoon peak hour. The study does not address traffic outside the morning and afternoon peak hours, and opponents have noted the as-yet-unnamed store – which could be Walmart – is likely to be open 24 hours, increasing traffic at all hours.

One objection Nys had was that the Chemawa Road – Verda Lane intersection is not included in the TIA, despite that the intersection is failing during afternoon peak traffic according to the city’s Transportation System Plan.

City officials are planning a roundabout for that intersection. They have said the developer won’t be required to help fund improvements there because it wasn’t meeting acceptable service levels prior to any development.

Nys also said the driveway for the proposed big-box grocer sits about 170 feet south city regulations allow.

“The proposed location will be in place for years to come and will quickly become a problem for the city, to which there are only difficult and expensive solutions,” Nys said.

Neither Nys nor representatives from Kittelson and Associates responded to interview requests from the Keizertimes.

The letter from Nys is not the first objections opponents have had with the traffic impact associated with the proposed discount grocer. A letter submitted at February’s Planning Commission meeting by Matt Hughart and Hermanus Steyn of Kittelson and Associates attempted to address some of the concerns:

• Regarding increased traffic on Ridge Drive – The proposal would connect Ridge Drive to McLeod Lane, creating a roadway from Chemawa-McLeod  southeast to Ridge Drive, south alongside Keizer Little League Park to Keizer Road.

The letter states school speed zone limits and several speed humps, along with “limited regional connectivity to the rest of the city,” would likely limit traffic to “those residents who live along the corridor.”

Hughart and Steyn concluded “no special capacity-based mitigation is necessary.”

• Regarding objections to the time of year traffic counts were conducted (July, when opponents said more people would be on vacation and not on local roadways), the engineers from Kittelson and Associates said traffic counts were adjusted to factor this in.