Driving patterns may impact medical plaza plans
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Mar 13, 2014 | 3704 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Traffic travels along Bessie Avenue near the Eaton Medical Plaza on Thursday morning. A study of traffic patterns on several nearby streets may influence plans to rebuild and expand the medical center building just east of its present footprint.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Traffic travels along Bessie Avenue near the Eaton Medical Plaza on Thursday morning. A study of traffic patterns on several nearby streets may influence plans to rebuild and expand the medical center building just east of its present footprint. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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City engineers recently measured traffic on the streets around the site of a proposed new building for Eaton Medical Plaza, 441 Eaton Ave., the results of which may impact how the project can move forward.

According to Chris Mina, senior engineer for land development, the city set up seven devices to count vehicles around the clock for a week on Bessie, Eaton and Parker avenues, Wall Street and Carlton Way.

The traffic data collectors are metal boxes situated on opposite curbs connected to a rubber line that extends across the roadway. The boxes keep track of when and how many vehicles travel over the line 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The purpose of the traffic study is to establish a base for traffic volume on those streets,” Mina said. “We just want to make sure they have a capacity to carry additional traffic. It may help us make a decision on the project.”

Andrew Malik, director of development and engineering, confirmed that the city measured vehicle traffic in response to the project application before the city for the new building.

The $20 million project, submitted by Sutter Gould Foundation, calls for the razing of the existing 29,000-square-foot plaza building to make way for a new 45,000-square-foot building on the parking lot east of the existing building.

When the proposal was presented in October, several neighbors complained that the larger building would create more noise and traffic and its placement would infringe on their privacy in their homes.

According to Pete Mitracos, an area resident and member of the Tracy Planning Commission, the project proposal is scheduled to be considered by the planning commission March 26.

The traffic study was conducted by senior engineer Ripon Bhatia, who said engineers usually leave the vehicle counters out for a full week to give them data on traffic flow for both weekdays and weekends.

Mina said he had recently received the report on the study, but he hadn’t had a chance to review the data. He said he planned to try to compile the information next week to provide city officials with a sense of the area’s average daily traffic flow.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.

 
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