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New Panera Restaurant Opens Traffic Concerns

The Planning Commission unanimously approves a design review plan for a Panera drive-thru restaurant at Glendora Marketplace, but traffic concerns plagues the new project.

As Glendora is ready to welcome Panera Bread as the newest tenant in the Glendora Marketplace, city officials are trying to iron out impending traffic headaches the new drive-thru restaurant may bring to the already congested streets in and around the shopping center.

The Glendora Planning Commission unanimously approved the design site plan for the planned 4,000-square-foot Panera Bread to be located within the Hyundai Dealership lot directly across from . However, several of the commissioners hesitantly gave the plan their approval.

While the site plan was developed to ensure proper circulation in and around the restaurant’s parking lot and that traffic would not be impeded, commissioners were wary of the plan to eliminate left turns out of driveways along Marketplace Drive.

A traffic signal midblock near would also be removed and placed further west of the restaurant. Access to Panera Bread and surrounding businesses on Marketplace Drive would be limited to a right turn/right out driveway.

“I think we’re doing businesses along this street a disservice…as we eliminate left turns,” said Commissioner Terry Kent.

Commissioners worried the site plan isolated traffic flow from businesses in the south side of the Marketplace, including the Home Goods site.

City Planner David Chantarangsu said city staff tried to discuss possible driveway alternatives with surrounding businesses, including Home Depot and In & Out, but they were unwilling to participate in the plan.

“I don’t think anyone of us has a problem with Panera,” said Commissioner Cliff Hamlow.  “I think we have a problem with getting in and out of this place.”

Chantarangsu said the city hired a traffic circulation consultant to recommend a possible solution to traffic concerns at the Glendora Marketplace.

According to the study, if no changes are done to current traffic flow, cars would have to wait for more than a minute to get out of several driveways and intersections at the Marketplace, causing “major delays and backups.” The study reflected peak evening hours.

Despite their concerns, commissioners wanted to move the project forward without further delays.

“[The Marketplace] is what is keeping our city alive, especially during this last downturn…we’ve got to make it work,” said Kent.

The commission voted to approve the site plan for the new Panera Bread, on the condition the applicant and city staff try to improve traffic flow between the Panera Bread site and the Home Goods site.

gsuburban September 07, 2011 at 02:54 PM
At least the city is keeping the traffic congestion a topic down at the market place. Years back, many of the plans were concerned about traffic on Gladstone and the school area. I have to wonder if what they know now would have made a dent in those concerns back then. Thinking like this is dangerous: "Despite their concerns, commissioners wanted to move the project forward without further delays". The city is responsible for safety, congestion and so forth and despite this, Kent doesn't want to be bothered with that in exchange for a few added tax dollars at the end of the year. I doubt the extra cash is worth it to the citizens who will be put at risk or at least, having to deal with traffic congestion and the pitfalls of it's "again creation" by city authorities. Some times the shoppers might just not shop there due to the extra clusters. I wonder how Kent will react to careless approved businesses ailing for customers vs. figure out the traffic concerns first.
Lisa September 07, 2011 at 03:38 PM
I am so glad traffic is going to be discussed. People speed up and down the main corridor of the marketplace, actually making left turns next to impossible during peak hours or at the very least, extremely dangerous. Instead of moving the stop light, add a few more. Speed bumps would be great, too. I like the convenience of shopping at the marketplace, but the one thing I dislike above all else is the funky flow of traffic and lack of visibility. Let's not wait until someone gets seriously injured or God forbid, killed, before something is done to improve the traffic INSIDE the marketplace.
Sparks September 07, 2011 at 04:36 PM
As we all know hind site is perfect. As I see it because the entire site has four exit / entrance ports, only two exit/ entrance ports are really able to move a reasonable amount of vehicles. The remaining two exit/ entrance ports are very limited in doing the same. Both are right turn only. If a exit / entrance port was placed by Pet's mart exiting on to Gladstone, that would help the problem somewhat. This would put more traffic on Gladstone which is unfortunate. Additionally an exit/ entrance port could be put in next to Costco but this again would put more traffic on Gladstone. The answer would be to add another exit with the ability to make a turn to the north. What to do, what to do.
Donna Smith September 07, 2011 at 05:10 PM
A little bit of traffic is a small price to pay for having excellent restaurants and shops in our lovely little town. You have two choices: You can put up with the minor traffic and shop locally, or you can waste gas driving to other cities to shop. The choice should be obvious. Not only do we get to stay close to home, we keep our tax dollars local. It is a win-win situation. I truly admire the City's efforts to not only bring great businesses to Glendora, but they are trying to plan it out in a thoughtful and considerate way for the residents. I have lived in Glendora for nearly 40 years. I've never been more proud to be a Glendora resident. I'll admit, I was skeptical about the marketplace back when it was being developed, but it has turned out to be a wonderful thing.
Judy McGehee September 07, 2011 at 05:28 PM
Traffic has been a nightmare at times getting in/out of the marketplace......the flow of traffic is a huge problem; perhaps with this new addition a good engineer can take a look and re-work the flow of cars, trucks, motorcycles, semis in that area. I sometimes have to avoid during lunch, because getting inand out can't be done expediently, but clearly love the availability of the stores/businesses there currently. judy McGehee
Janelle September 07, 2011 at 08:06 PM
To get back to "The Village" area, I have often wondered why there wasn't an exit/ entrance at the the Pet Store onto Gladstone. To go up Lone Hill to Foothill in order to do same - is a nightmare.
MellowMaverick September 07, 2011 at 08:33 PM
If there was a driveway and street access directly from Gladstone into the Petsmart parking lot and another driveway, street access from Gladstone between Home Depot and Sam's Club, both entrances would bring motorists more directly to those areas and reduce traffic on the main entrance to the Marketplace on Lone Hill. I'm assuming that there must be some zoning law or resistance to opening up entrances and exits.
gsuburban September 08, 2011 at 04:45 AM
Speed Bumps do not serve their purpose. Mostly, they are a hazard. Just drive from Lone Hill S/B to E/B Ralphs on Arrow Hwy...they have speed bumps throughout that place which are too high and too wide, most vehicles try to avoid them thus, they do not serve a true purpose but cars to slow for the bumps then speed to the next one which I believe is a complete hazard and waste of traffic control.
gsuburban September 08, 2011 at 04:51 AM
Most folks will say the traffic is more than "a little bit of traffic". Its engineered wrong and folks hate it. Let's face it, most people go there when they can and that's just about the same time the rest of us go there so, it's packed when the average folks go there. Lone Hill is a complete joke from Gladstone to 66. The state (on-off ramps) county/city need to get that cluster rearranged. Traffic is a complete waste of fuel, time and aggravation which is what the engineers are paid to eliminate for all those big tax dollars they seek.
Sheryl September 08, 2011 at 04:20 PM
Based on these comments, everyone would liike to see something done to help the traffic flow inside the entire complex, regardless of whether or not Panera is an addition. The one signal inside the complex is seriously overloaded, The left turn near Chili's is awkward. The multi-angled intersection near Home Depot off of Gladstone is downright dangerous. The left turn leaving the complex at Lone Hill often requires a wait through multiple signal cycles. Some comments mentioned avoidance. I am sorry to say that I am one of those who often avoids it: I often use the 57 to go to Lowes and PetCo to avoid the dangerous congestion on Lone Hill and inside the Marketplace.
Kathy Bell September 08, 2011 at 06:17 PM
I'm with you. We live near the top of Lone Hill and can say the traffic has gotten out of hand in the last maybe 5 or so years. When coming out of In and Out we almost always see someone avoid the correct way to exit and make their OWN way out of that parking area. We've seen some close calls there. There are other peak times down there also, not just evening hours. Lunch time and around 2:30/3:00 can be a huge pain also. The drivers that come out of the Marketplace onto Lone Hill, then position themselves in the middle of the intersection, do not help the traffic flow. We knew all along that Lone Hill would eventually be a huge traffic nightmare and it has come true. We avoid Lone Hill when ever possible. Now, let's add a train coming through, about every 5 to 7 minutes. Sorry, it's not just a little bit of traffic and my time is somewhat valuable. Can't understand why this hasn't been thought out more carefully.
MellowMaverick September 08, 2011 at 06:24 PM
I love the Marketplace and am truly glad it's there but I agree that traffic management for this property (on every level) is a disaster. It's poorly planned for traffic flow and awkward to navigate at best. While, in truth, that probably won't cause much loss of business there, it still should be improved for the sake of the average Glendoran who shops there. Respect for the customer should still be a consideration here.
Bill C. September 08, 2011 at 10:43 PM
I don't see any of the traffic as "dangerous" but something should be done to help eliminate congestion or people will go shopping elsewhere. I hear way to many crazy comments at council meetings that really matter very little to most people, while this is an issue that truly needs to be addressed. You sound good B.K., I think you should take the lead. I'd agree pretty much with what Judy McGehee wrote.
MellowMaverick September 09, 2011 at 01:13 AM
Thanks Bill, but I'd just be happy if someone at City Hall gives some consideration to what ALL of us are` saying here. It's like any poll or survey....for every one of us who takes the time to comment, I'm sure there are many more Glendorans who feel the same way. If Government is indeed "for the people", they need to listen to the people. If they can't change the status quo, then at least tell us why.
Maggie Lou September 14, 2011 at 04:07 AM
The traffic is a problem but can be worked out and I am sure David C. will see that is done. Today we have different people running Planning, which is a plus,than when these problems were made. It is a terrific shopping center where our money is kept, now, in the City, instead of going to other cities for these shops. Please, since all the planning commission and especially City Council needs to answer peoples questions and have the courtesy to answer them,. That is what bothers so many..
Terry September 14, 2011 at 07:45 PM
I don't see what the big deal is. It does have traffic, particularly the northbound on Lone Hill, but it's not THAT BAD overall. I've never been to the Marketplace and be totally pissed off about the traffic.
gsuburban September 14, 2011 at 09:20 PM
No one likes to see a recent development result in traffic issues coupled with difficult enter and exit risk's. This is why folks complain, new development, new construction, new designs, new statistics and engineering yet, same results as if designed in 1950 when there was less traffic.
LGMorgan October 14, 2011 at 08:15 PM
Hiring a traffic engineer to resolve all the issues will make sense. it is not only the layout of the village, but also the timing/sequence of the traffic lights alone Lone Hill that is also a problem.

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