Would an Oakdale Commons Chick-fil-A Cause Serious Traffic Jams?
Johnson City officials are grappling with the potential traffic headaches that could develop if a Chick-fil-A restaurant opens at the Oakdale Commons.
Although the Georgia-based chain and the new owners of the former Oakdale Mall have made no announcement, word has been circulating in recent months that a Chick-fil-A unit is part of redevelopment plans.
Johnson City police chief Brent Dodge told WNBF News he's had discussions with the village's public works department and the state Department of Transportation about traffic issues if a Chick-fil-A restaurant does open.
Dodge acknowledged "it's a concern" when asked about the amount of traffic the restaurant would generate in the area of Route 201 and Harry L. Drive.
The police chief said steps would be taken "to mitigate the situation." He noted one entrance to the mall recently was closed. All traffic entering the complex from Harry L. Drive now uses a single entrance further west of the Route 201 intersection.
Dodge said the DOT has adjusted timing of the traffic signals near the mall and the Wegmans store.
An additional left turn lane for westbound traffic to enter Wegmans is planned to reduce backups on Harry L. Drive.
Johnson City Mayor Martin Meaney said while there's been "nothing definitive" about a Chick-fil-A restaurant at the Oakdale Commons, "it's the talk of the town."
Meaney said he believes "if this is coming, then studies will be done or have been done to make sure that there will be no backups."
The mayor said the only Oakdale Commons restaurant plans that have been submitted to the village are for Chipotle and Panera Bread.
Heavy drive-thru volume at Chick-fil-A locations in some parts of the country have resulted in traffic jams, car wrecks and road rage incidents.
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