While he couldn’t give details on the possible clients, he did say he hoped the third time was the charm for the project to pass earlier Tuesday before the meeting. The project has been held up since at least October through three meetings by council members seeking answers to questions of traffic impacts. While traffic engineers and staff members insisted the project, which consolidates seven buildings with the same combined square footage into one giant structure, would create less traffic than was already approved, council members badgered staff and developers demanding traffic studies and traffic numbers be available for their review before making a decision.
Numbers were available from a fresh study over two 48 hour periods on the amount of truck and auto traffic impacting the Sperry Avenue corridor between Baldwin Road west to Interstate 5 Tuesday night. The study was conducted over a pair of two day periods in late November, a week before the Thanksgiving holiday and again a week after Thanksgiving revealed that the combined traffic average of 10,400 auto and truck trips a day in the area of Sperry Avenue west of Rogers Road near Interstate 5 was far lower than the accepted standard of 15,000 by the city. Of those near 10,400 trips, 75 percent were auto trips, 24 percent were delivery two-axle trucks and 7 percent were trucks with more than three axles.
The study confirmed that the city could sustain traffic from another large distribution center on Sperry Avenue with 3,500 to 4,500 more trips still available before Sperry reached capacity, City Engineer Ken Irwin said.
Irwin, who conducted the study along with contract City Traffic Engineer Christopher Thnay, said a conservative high number of trucks for the Patterson Logistics Center would be over 600 trips.
The project has at least one suitor that wants to be up and running by fall 2014, would change a 2010 plan for seven buildings totaling 1.27 million square-feet to one giant rectangular building with a footprint of 1.27 million square feet. The project calls for 1,061 parking spaces, which officials say would be less than there would be with seven smaller buildings.
The plan for the building includes two separate turn lanes into the facility for workers, a new traffic light at a built out Haggerty Road, where trucks would turn left into the facility.
Council members hounded staff members and developers about traffic impacts, citing concerns on an area already seeing increased traffic from the newly opened Amazon.com distribution center. The plan for the giant building calls for less traffic than the seven building plan already on the books, staff members and developers say.
Councilmember Sheree Lustgarten, who has also expressed concerns over truck traffic, said she didn’t agree with the assessment by staff members that there would be about 525 truck trips per day on Sperry Avenue accessing the Patterson Logistics. She thought there would be at least 100 more.
Saying she was pro government, pro business and pro taxpayer eventually backed the plan as did Novelli, who registered her concerns over three separate meetings as well.
• Public safety and City Government Reporter Nick Rappley can be reached at 209-568-9975 or firstname.lastname@example.org.