Over the past several years, attractive development has created a circulation issue within the Walmart parking lot in Town. The Town realizes that during peak times traffic builds up, creating wait times to exit the area that are longer than desirable. For the past year and a half, Town staff has been working with the developer, Walmart and the other neighboring retailers to find a better solution to move traffic more effectively and quickly.
The Weitzel Street access is a private drive owned by Walmart. Additionally, the properties adjacent to Weitzel are owned by third party private developers, and they are leased by private tenants. As a result, the Town cannot unilaterally make changes to the traffic pattern configuration. Staff is actively working to try to facilitate a solution with all involved parties to achieve a safer and more efficient traffic pattern.
The Town will continue to work with the involved parties to find a permanent solution. While the Town is more than willing to participate in finding a solution, these individuals also need to be involved, as it is their private property and their ultimate responsibility.
In mid-September 2019, a meeting was held with each of the stakeholders (tenants and property owners) within the Walmart development area to discuss the traffic concerns. All of the stakeholders came to the table with an open mind and an interest to work together collaboratively to find a solution to the traffic issue. The Town presented both short-term and long-term options and the implications of each. Many of the stakeholders were willing to contribute to one of the solutions. A few stakeholders are still weighing the options but were optimistic about coming to a resolution soon. The Town will begin working on a draft agreement for the parties to weigh in on.
On Monday, November 25th, exceptionally heavy traffic due to the holidays and impending snowstorm caused a traffic back-up issue in the Walmart parking lot as well as Costco and other similar centers in the region.
While the Town cannot unilaterally make changes to the traffic pattern configuration on private property, we worked with Walmart and the other retailers in the center to find a better solution to move traffic more effectively and quickly during the high volume holiday weekend. As we do not own this land and must rely on the private property owner to ultimately make the investment, the Town agreed to take the lead in drafting a funding agreement among the ten owners to move this forward. All have committed to seeing this through. The design and construction of the improvements will most likely be completed by Walmart, with funding to be provided from the collective
owners and leaseholders.
Residents are encouraged to share their concerns with Walmart, the other retailers in this shopping center, and the developer to try and accelerate the solution.