GLENS FALLS — Stewart’s Shops officials insist their larger Ridge Street store would have minimal impact on pedestrian traffic and they have tweaked the site plan.
The Planning Board last month tabled the proposal by the company to build a roughly 3,850-square-foot store and a four-pump canopy, which will have eight fueling positions at the site of the old Time Warner Cable building at 250 Ridge St. and the two adjacent parcels.
Planning Board members wanted some pedestrian counts from the area after residents had expressed concern about the project increasing traffic in the neighborhood and creating a safety issue for pedestrians, particularly for children walking to Jackson Heights Elementary School.
The project will be back before the Planning Board at its meeting on Tuesday at 4:45 p.m. in Common Council chambers.
Representatives from Stewart’s submitted a letter that showed that 12 pedestrians were observed in May 2019 crossing one of the legs of the Sanford Street intersection during the morning peak hour.
They also submitted data from a 2014 Creighton Manning study that found there were 134 pedestrians crossing at the Jackson Avenue and Sagamore Street intersection during the morning peak hour, from 7:40 a.m. to 8:40 a.m., and 179 during the afternoon peak hour, from 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Those pedestrians are then dispersed through the neighborhood at other intersections.
Creighton Manning, the engineering firm, is working with Stewart’s on the plans for the new store.
There are crossing guards provided at that intersection, as well as Ridge Street and Sanford streets, Ridge Street and Jackson Avenue and Jackson Avenue and Sagamore Street.
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The study also mentioned that many parents choose to drive their children to school, especially on winter days and during inclement weather. In addition, Stewart’s officials said the study pointed out that the peak pickup and drop-off periods are short, traffic volume low and the delay and congestion exhibited at the school are acceptable according to industry standards.
The study concluded that it is likely the impatience of drivers in the vicinity of the school during the morning pickup and afternoon drop-off times that is causing the danger in the area.
Stewart’s has concluded that the new store would generate 37 new morning and 27 afternoon trips. Each trip in or out of the store is created as a separate trip.
“It is not anticipated that the minimal increase in site-related traffic will impact pedestrian operations at the adjacent intersection,” wrote Mark Nadolny and Jesse Vogl, of Creighton Manning, in a letter. “It is noted that the traffic signal and crossing guard provided at the Ridge Street/Sanford Street intersection will continue to service school-related pedestrian traffic.”
Stewart’s officials also have made tweaks to the site plan in response to feedback, including placing the pedestrian crosswalk on the western side of the building, shifting the building site 5 feet to the south, removing one of the access points to the Warren County Bikeway and removing the seating area in the southern portion of the site and associated sidewalk, according to the plan submitted by the company.
In addition, the company has modified the design by adding dormers to the gable roof, putting stone veneer from the building into the canopy pillars and removing the freestanding sign from the northeast corner.
Stewart’s also is willing to install lights that can be timed for illumination in the evening, which is similar to the Cumberland Farms store on Bay Road.