WALKER, LA (WAFB) -
At a zoning meeting Monday night, it was decided to approve the site plan with entrances and exits on Highway 447 instead of Ball Park Street. The project can now move forward with traffic and drainage.
A new business planning to open in Walker has some families worried. They say the new location at the front of their neighborhood will only bring traffic nightmares.
“From my point of view, it’s a safety concern,” said Christopher Piper, who lives off Ball Park Street near Highway 447. He says traffic tends to be heavy there, but fears it may get worse if things go as planned for a new business at the entrance of the neighborhood.
”The problem with the Dollar General being built in the location is one, that’s a completely new factor that drivers are going to have to take into account when pulling out of the subdivision," Piper said.
Piper and many of his neighbors are trying to stop development of the store, which they say will put the lives of families driving in and out at risk.
“Once they add the Dollar Store, I mean, now you’re going to have 18-wheelers in the mix, you’re gonna' have a larger volume of traffic, it’s going to create a major issue,” said Jeremy Blackmon, another concerned resident.
Residents are worried because when leaving, drivers have a hard time seeing the traffic coming through a curve on one side, and they still have to be aware of traffic coming from the opposite direction. Now, with the Dollar General potentially on the way, they will need to take more caution. Walker Chief of Operations Jamie Ethridge says they’re taking the safety of residents in that area seriously. They are bringing in DOTD for a traffic study and still have to approve the site plan, all before Dollar General gets a permit to build there.
Some folks living off Ball Park Street aren’t just concerned about traffic. They also say this could potentially bring down their property values.
“Honestly, it’s a scary thought, you know. Am I getting ready to make a purchase that’s going to end up to not pan out to what I thought it was because I bought the house just because of the Dollar Store was here,” said Blackmon.
But Ethridge says the neighborhood was zoned residential and commercial before the houses were built, therefore, it will not diminish the value, for so now, residents will have to wait and see how things go.