Part 2: Will Walmart Increase Traffic?
One of the major sources of concern for Ellisville residents who oppose the Sansone Group’s Walmart relates to whether or not Walmart will increase traffic in the area.
The answer comes down to how you look at the definition of increased traffic, said Ada Hood, the city’s planner.
“First we need to establish what we mean by traffic,” Hood said. “Will Walmart generate more trips? Yes. The Walmart will generate more trips than currently exist, obviously.”
Hood said the amount of cars traveling on that stretch of road will be ultimately managed better, thanks to stop lights, medians and other improvements made around the property.
“As part of the overall site development plan, they are making significant traffic improvements,” Hood said. “Part of those is going to help manage traffic better than what currently exists. You will have less accidents, less congestion.”
Before submitting their final plans, Walmart hired CMT Traffic Management company to conduct a traffic study, which was reviewed both by the city’s traffic engineer and by the Missouri Department of Transportation, which is in charge of managing Manchester Road.
Both the city’s traffic engineer and MoDOT gave their approval to the study and agreed the store would better accommodate traffic on that stretch of road.
“We don’t believe it is going to increase traffic jams or traffic accidents -- and that’s what residents are most concerned about,” Hood said. “We can’t exactly predict what is going to happen but we believe traffic will be managed better than now.”
Writer's note: Since the Walmart development project was presented to the City of Ellisville Council earlier in April, rumors surrounding its design, size and effects on the community have surfaced in the comments section of this site, in social media and during public hearings.
In an attempt to clarify what is known, what is a myth and what is unknown about the Walmart development, Ballwin-Ellisville Patch met with Ada Hood, planning director; Bill Schwer, public works director; and Don Cary, finance director, to discuss the project.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of the series.