Second study backs up Walmart traffic analysis - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Second study backs up Walmart traffic analysis

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A second traffic study backs up Walmart's initial analysis. A second traffic study backs up Walmart's initial analysis.
HUNSTVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A south Huntsville neighborhood seeking ammunition to derail a proposed new Walmart Supercenter will not find any in a new report on the store's projected traffic impact.

The analysis, completed Friday, did not contradict a previous study paid for by Walmart which found minimal impact on area streets.

"From what I've gone over, there was nothing in the original report that would indicate that the original consultant tried to hide anything or did anything to manipulate the numbers," said UAH Civil Engineering Professor Michael Anderson who performed the new analysis.

The new Walmart supercenter is planned for a parcel between L&N Drive and Memorial Parkway, south of Drake Avenue, across Drake from the Parkway Place mall.  

A Traffic study by Skipper Consulting in Birmingham indicated that traffic impact of the store would not be significant, but neighbors questioned the fact that Walmart funded the study and demanded the city pay for a new impartial study. 

Anderson performed his own analysis and reached conclusions very similar to those of the Skipper report. He found it noteworthy that Skipper used data from the month of November, when traffic was likely to be unusually heavy, making it more likely to overestimate traffic than underestimate it.  

"They did a very 'worst case' or conservative estimate of future traffic conditions," he said.  "What they presented in the original report, most typical days the traffic would actually be less than that."

Anderson did not agree with all the recommendations of the Skipper study, saying more could be done to reduce noise and light disruption of nearby residential neighborhoods by Walmart's delivery trucks. Still, he said the report was honestly done.

If a traffic study had found severe impact, the state Department of Transportation could have required Walmart pay for improvements to area roads as a condition of its permission to build.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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