The project site is zoned 60% Neighborhood Commercial and 40% Community Commercial but it appears as though the entire site is being built as Community-serving commercial and office space with a token amount of residential. An 8000 square foot supermarket is slated for ground floor tenancy. The applicant’s Traffic Study shows the majority of the traffic generated by this project coming from outside the Kensington neighborhood.
We must state for the record that we have found numerous, significant errors in the Traffic Study that render the conclusions, as well as any mitigation based on this study, worthless. We begin with what appears to be this minor mischaracterization of the 77 square feet of snack racks and cold drink cases at the gas station cashier counter as a ‘650 square foot convenience store’, which gave the project 12 times the ADT credits it is entitled to.
It is not speculative to suggest that traffic exiting the parking garage at the rear will exit the alley and, faced with no barrier, choose to turn in the direction of the residential neighborhood and utilize the surrounding streets as a shortcut to go around the traffic signals in order to exit Kensington more quickly. Yet these streets, one block north and south of Adams Avenue, were not included in the Traffic Study. Nothing in the MND addresses this impact.
In my block of Edgeware Road we will feel the impact of shoppers who don’t want to be bothered with driving underground and parking when they just want to run in and use the ATM and the proposed bank. We will also be the recipients of traffic when drivers realize that it will be quicker to drive up Edgeware to Alder and then down Kensington Drive, or even Terrace once the bollards are removed, and by pass a traffic signal or two before getting on the freeway.
Returning to the problem of traffic on our residential streets, I want to point out that as Kensington Terrace customers and tenants choose to take the faster residential shortcuts in and out of Kensington, they will most likely pass our pre-school on Alder Drive. The pre-school is separated from the church on Marlborough Drive by the alley that runs directly north from the project site and may also be used as an entrance/exit by customers. Neither this alley nor Alder Drive were included in the Traffic Study.
We have tried to have a dialogue regarding the need for a plan to discuss a proper traffic study that includes our residential streets. We have also asked for a plan that specifically addresses how retail customers and office tenants will be routed directly to and from the project parking garage and Adams Avenue. We have had no satisfaction on either count. Posting signs “encouraging” people to turn one way or the other is not the solution. We feel that this omission shows a high disregard for our concerns for the safety and well-being of our families and neighbors.