The Juneau Planning Commission has postponed a hearing on the proposed gas station at Fred Meyer from Jan. 22 to Feb. 12 so that city staff can review concerns about pedestrian safety and potential petroleum runoff.
The gas station is planned for the northeast corner of the parking lot, near the Alaska USA Federal Credit Union.
Greg Chaney, a planner with the Community Development Department, said planners anticipate an increase in motorists using the Fred Meyer parking lot entrance, "although they expect that mostly people already shopping there will go to get gas. They anticipate a few people passing by will turn in, and there could be up to a 25 percent increase in traffic on the approach road," known as both Lemon Road and Yandukin Drive.
R&M Engineering, which studied traffic for the proposed gas station, did not anticipate that the increase in traffic would be a safety hazard, Chaney said. "But we are still evaluating that study and I can't comment."
The city will ask Fred Meyer to upgrade pedestrian access from nearby bus stops. Otherwise, Chaney said, "You are left with the option of walking in the street (to reach the parking lot) or in the planters (within the parking lot). We are discussing what to do."
The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration has expressed concern over the potential for petroleum runoff into nearby branches of Jordan Creek, which is a salmon stream.
"At this point, most of the Fred Meyer parking lot drains into ditches along Egan, but when they install the gas station they will put in drainage around the pumps which will lead to a static oil/water separator," Chaney said. "But the separator is not enough during rainstorms or other runoff. We are still discussing waste water routing because we want to avoid having that waste water go directly into Jordan Creek."
Chaney saw none of the above issues as preventing the gas station from being constructed this year.
A spokesman for Fred Meyer said the company would work with the city to resolve the issues.
"It's always our practice to work closely with local municipalities to make sure everyone is satisfied so that we can put in the best facility to take care of the needs of our customers," spokesman Rob Boley said this morning from his Portland, Ore., office. "We take a positive attitude."
Ann Chandonnet can be reached at email@example.com.
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