The traffic study is blunt: A Target at the proposed Gateway South location will make traffic miserable through Scotts Valley, with or without a Midtown freeway exchange, with many intersections pushed to unacceptable service levels.
The traffic study is equally clear in asserting that building a Target at the alternate location (near the old Santa’s Village) would result in far less disruptive traffic. The Gruen and Gruen economic study asserts a substantial and equivalent net economic benefit to the city, regardless of Target’s location.
It seems the best choice would be to accept a Target, but at the alternate location, where it will impede traffic circulation the least. Scotts Valley would be able to maintain its own targeted service levels at intersections throughout the city and would promote the best possible access to other existing businesses, patronage which the economic study estimates will increase due to the Target presence.
If Scotts Valley wishes to promote sales at the anticipated Town Center and include a Target store at its periphery, the first priority should be to diminish traffic impacts as much as possible to promote active patron circulation throughout the city — the alternative Target location clearly represents the best choice.
However, if Target is approved at the Gateway South location, the city should request the installation (at Target’s expense) of a traffic signal and pedestrian crosswalk at the La Madrona Drive-Altenitas Road intersection, or at least the installation of a three-way stop and crosswalk.
The reasons for this request:
n First, to permit a safe pedestrian crossing for neighborhood, Hilton and Target visitors who wish to access the businesses at Scotts Valley Corners. The intersection is often crossed by pedestrians, and with Target traffic, it will become difficult and dangerous for a walker to cross.
n Second, to permit safe ingress and egress to the neighborhoods served by Altenitas, including the Hilton Hotel, because as the easiest and most obvious route to the hotel from La Madrona Drive, Altenitas is frequently used by cars,
service trucks and buses.
• Editor’s note: Target withdrew its application to build on La Madrona Drive last week.