Shops at Campbell Station traffic concerns planners


Spring Hill planning commissioners are trying to determine the safest and quickest ways customers can enter and leave the proposed Shops at Campbell Station development off Main Street, Campbell Station Parkway and Wilkes Lane.

Spring Hill planning commissioners are trying to determine the safest and quickest ways customers can enter and leave the proposed Shops at Campbell Station development off Main Street, Campbell Station Parkway and Wilkes Lane.

Theo Stone of Atlanta-based LeCraw Engineering, who represents the developer, told planners on June 23 that his traffic study of that area concluded that the proposed site plan would not have a serious impact on surrounding traffic.

Planning officials, however, were concerned about a proposed right turn-in-only and right turn-out-only ingress and egress at the site at Campbell Station and suggested a deceleration lane be required.

“If it will move things along, I can influence the developer to remove the proposed right-out onto [Highway] 31 (Main Street),†Stone replied.

There also were questions about the accuracy of the traffic study’s report on traffic flow.

“According to the study, [you’re expecting] the development to add an eight-second delay. And northbound traffic on Main along the proposed site got a grade-level of A [for ease of use],†Duda said. “But I travel that daily myself. When school is in session, you see bumper-to-bumper traffic there all morning.â€

To demonstrate his point, Duda showed the commission a screenshot from an aerial video of traffic gridlock on Highway 31 that was taken at 7 a.m. in February 2013, and again questioned how a business development there would not aggravate traffic.

“We did this study in the summer, but we studied the intersections that would be most impacted by the development,†Stone answered.

Commissioner Matt Fitterer questioned the report’s claim that the development would impose “no significant decline in quality of service at impacted intersections.â€

“Yes, there will be an impact,†Stone admitted.

Commissioner Charlie Schoenbrodt compared the possible impact of the development with that of the Walmart on Highway 31.

“Walmart did not hurt traffic there because of how far back it is from the road,†Schoenbrodt said. “But these entrances are going to clog traffic.â€

Commission chairman Jonathan Schwartz expressed concern about how the development as proposed might affect those living nearby, particularly on Wilkes Lane.

“In spite of the study’s findings, this could potentially have a big impact on the houses that exist in the area,†he said. “It all depends on where you’re looking when you talk about the level of traffic. [The planning commission] listens to people about how they are impacted whenever there is a new development. There is a considerable issue with the synchronization of lights along 31. And there is the question of access by people living on Wilkes Lane. We have to look at how this can assist their quality of life also, and see what’s best for residential housing.â€

Another issue raised by commissioners about the retail proposal was about the rear line of sight to the shops from adjacent residential areas. The board had urged developers to “break up the uniform look from the rear†and Stone said that the developers were happy to comply with that suggestion.

Duda was impressed with the designs for proposed Marshalls and Aldi stores.

“They fit the purpose of this corridor. For example, the look is consistent with the look of the Publix next door.†However he said the front of a proposed Hardee’s restaurant “needs more masonry elements rather than synthetic ones.â€

Staff writer Greg Jinkerson covers Spring Hill for BrentWord Communications. Contact him at greg@springhillhomepage.com.

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