Today is the last day for the public to comment on the SEPA Application for the drive thru restaurants Mr. Vaughn wants to put on Regal. Comments need to be in by 4pm today!
I know many residents around Southgate and Moran Prairie are concerned about the increase in traffic around the area and that this was a concern about the proposed development in the newly annexed area at 55th and Regal. SNC conducted a review of the traffic impacts included in the application and it seems the developer has vastly underestimated the amount of traffic that will be generated based on the proposed use. We want to share this with the neighbors right away so they can comment on the impacts of this development given the new numbers. Please bear with me as we run through the math…
The developer states that Phase 1 of the proposed development (2 drive-thru restaurants and 2 retail buildings) will create 1,175 new vehicle trips a day (known as Average Daily Traffic or ADT). He further states that full build out of the entire 8 acres would create a total of 3,097 ADT when it is completed. These estimates are based on Land Use Codes (LUC) from a book called the ITE Trip Generation Manual. In this case, the developer uses LUC #820 (Shopping Center) to determine the amount of traffic generated. They take the value of the LUC and multiply it by the thousands of square feet (ksf) in the development and get the ADT number.
So in this case, the developer is proposing to build 27,510 square feet of buildings and LUC #820 has a value of 42.7 ADT per 1,000 sqft of building. Thus 42.7 ADT * 27.5 ksf = 1,175 ADT. The trip numbers are rounded up to the nearest whole number.
However, two of the proposed buildings in his plan are actually Fast Food Restaurants, with Drive Thru Windows, a separate classification in the manual with a completely different ADT rate. They are considered under LUC #934 and the rate is 496 ADT per 1,000 square feet. Look closely at that: 42.7 ADT vs. 496 ADT. Over 10 times as much traffic per restaurant. The combined square footage of the proposed restaurants is 10,200 square feet.
Thus, the drive thru restaurants create the following traffic: 496 ADT * 10.2 ksf = 5,060 ADT. Add that to the remaining traffic of the retail buildings (42.7 ADT * 17.3 ksf = 739 ADT) and you get the new Phase 1 total ADT: 5,060 ADT + 739 ADT = 5,799 ADT! Adding in the projected traffic for Phase 2 (1,960 ADT) brings the final total new daily trips to 7,759 ADT.
Regal Street is classified as a Minor Arterial in the City of Spokane, that means it is designed to carry between 9,500 and 19,500 ADT. The last traffic count from 2015 showed this section of Regal had 15,900 ADT. If you add just the Phase 1 traffic to this you bring the ADT of Regal up to 21, 699. A full buildout of this property would completely overwhelm the Level of Service on Regal Street.
It is clear that South Regal Street is exceeding the capacity of a Minor Arterial with this project and will likely fall below its planned Level of Service. Several other large projects are on the horizon that will undoubtedly add to the capacity shortage and are not accounted for here: KXLY’s new development, the Palouse Trails Apartments, the gas station at 44th and Regal to name a few.
Southgate has submitted comments to the County outlining this shortcoming and asking that this project be given a Determination of Significance that will result in a full Environmental Impact Study of the the proposal that will result in substantive mitigation of the full impacts of the development. I encourage our neighbors to contact the County as well and voice their concerns for the underestimated impact that this project will have on traffic in and around Southgate and Moran Prairie. You can send you comments to Julie Shatto at the County: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments need to be in by 4pm today.