“The results anticipated future traffic trends with the church project and without the church project,” Coda said. The $18 million project involves the 1,600-seat sanctuary and a parking lot with about 875 spaces. The current parking lot has about 400 spaces. “We want to be good neighbors,” said William Ankerberg, senior pastor of the 31-year-old church. The pastor estimates about 2,000 people attend church services. An eight-member contingency of Villaverde residents said they have no problem with the church, but traffic along their street has been bothersome. “The only way we win,” said Villaverde resident Barry Stone, 71, “is if the church closes the exit onto our street.” The church’s plan, Coda said, is to have the exit open for four hours on Sunday and closed the rest of the week. Stone was skeptical of the plan, saying most people will find a way to get around the barrier. “It’s not doable,” he said of the project. “Someone is going to lose.” He and his neighbor, Gus Montano, 77, also expressed concern over disturbance of the green landscape that faces their neighborhood. Kuehn said the lot will be 6 feet higher than the street and there will be a lot of trees and landscape. The traffic study and an environmental report, once it’s completed, will be available for public review at City Hall, Collier said. There will also be a public hearing at a future planning commission meeting. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “It will also make it safer for the users of the Murphy Ranch Little League ballfield who now park along the north side of Colima,” he said. “That situation is just an accident waiting to happen.” The traffic signal would slow down northbound and southbound traffic on Colima, Kuehn said. A traffic study commissioned by the church and submitted to the city of Whittier states traffic on Villaverde during peak usage between 9 a.m and 2 p.m. Sundays will be reduced by 85 percent. “We conducted our studies during the most busy hours as regulated by the city,” said Frank M. Coda, who oversaw the traffic study. He said the study includes existing traffic conditions not only for Sundays but also during morning and afternoon weekday hours. WHITTIER – Whittier Area Community Church officials Thursday said the proposed expansion of its parking lot to accommodate more people for a new 34,000-square-foot sanctuary is a winning proposition for all concerned. During a neighborhood meeting at the church, 8175 Villaverde Drive, project developer Robert A. Kuehn said the parking lot project would give users of the nearby Murphy Ranch Little League fields more parking space, would help reduce traffic on Villaverde on Sundays and give churchgoers three more entrances and four exits. “The extra entrances and exits on Mar Vista and Colima will make car movement more efficient and minimize traffic in nearby streets, especially Villaverde,” he said. A planned traffic signal on Colima Road, Kuehn said, would direct traffic entering and exiting the church parking lot onto Colima.