McCANDLESS (KDKA) – Replacing retail with retail on one McCandless corner seems simple enough, but not in this case.
Walmart is eyeing a 155,000-square-foot building there. It comes with a stigma.
“We have a vested interest in our community, they don’t live here, we do and that’s why we have to fight them,” said Rita Martin of Wexford.
Traffic concerns are a lot of the focus of opponents.
“This is going to bring triple the traffic,” said Martin.
“I don’t think there will be triple the traffic anywhere as a result of the Walmart site,” said McCandless zoning officer Bruce Betty. “There are increases on McKnight Road and there are increases on Blazer Drive.”
So how much of an increase will it bring?
According to the McCandless traffic studies, the biggest impact will be on vehicles coming from Wexford and turning onto Blazer Drive to go towards Walmart. About 100 more vehicles during the peak of rush hour on a weekend day and more than 73 weekday afternoon – and 50 more an hour during the morning rush.
“The park’s right here with people riding bicycles constantly,” said Gene Walter. “I can’t imagine more traffic.”
The study says the worst additional traffic through the park will be 36 cars an hour during the peak Sunday afternoon crunch.
And coming off northbound McKnight Road, Ingomar will pick up a total of 79 more cars during the peak Saturday hour, which raises neighborhood concerns about the intersection at the bottom of the ramp.
“PennDOT has been called in since they own the ramp,” said Toby Cordek, McCandless Manager.
Cordek says changes in signs and additional signs may be needed and they will continue to watch that intersection if Walmart gets the green light.