Since receiving approval to open a store in Chapel Hill in late 2016, Wegmans has continuously worked with residents to make sure the store won’t have negative impacts on the community.
In 2017, Wegmans' special use permit was approved by the Chapel Hill Town Council, but the permit included a stipulation that detailed what must be done to address the potential for increased traffic on nearby residential streets.
“Prior to issuance of the zoning compliance permit, the developer shall meet area residents and Town staff to develop and finalize the traffic calming devices,” the stipulation said.
A traffic calming device is something like a speed bump or a four-way stop intersection.
On Monday, a group of Town employees met with local residents at the Chapel Hill Public Library to discuss what devices should be used in the area around the proposed Wegmans location in between Old Durham Road and U.S. Highway 15-501.
Judy Johnson, an operations manager in the Town's Department of Planning and Development Services, began by acknowledging that the Wegmans store could cause traffic issues, but the Town wants to work with local residents to find a solution.
“The cut-through traffic is a tremendous concern, and we are here to listen,” she said. “... We’re going to take notes, and we’re looking for feedback on our plan.”
Traffic engineering manager Kumar Neppalli discussed the specifics of the proposed plan, which were based on community input and the department’s expertise.
“We have 17, 18 types of traffic-calming devices in the Town that we implement to reduce the traffic problem, and we took those 17, 18 ideas and took your input and looked at the streets around the Wegmans store and came up with some recommendations,” he said.