Businesses learning to cope during Paseo/I-25 project

Posted at: 10/28/2013 5:46 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

There are new challenges for Albuquerque drivers navigating through the big Paseo/I-25 reconstruction project, and new challenges for business owners too.

There are now concrete barriers chocking down the northbound I-25 frontage road to two lanes, but it opens up to four lanes at the Paseo intersection. Two lanes turn west onto Paseo, one lane turns east, and one goes straight ahead on the frontage road.

Meanwhile some business owners got some help Monday on their survival skills.

Orange barrels, traffic jams – a lot of drivers are avoiding the area altogether. That can mean fewer customers and less business in the busy Paseo/I-25 corridor, and that is no dilly of a deal to Erryn Sanchez, who owns a Dairy Queen franchise.

“I’m right on the corner and if they take another route they might bypass me completely,” Sanchez said at a free marketing seminar for businesses in the area. “It does worry me. I’m very much on like Paseo and San Pedro.”

The state Transportation Department sponsored the seminar, featuring Stacy Sacco of UNM’s Small Business Institute, who calls it “Construction 101”.

“It’s not just traffic flow,” Sacco said. “It could be some natural disaster or the economy. You’re always up against something from the outside that could affect you. If you’re not marketing yourself to the best level you can, maximizing what your programs are about, then you’re not really in the right place. That’s what we’re talking about today – how you can maximize your marketing.”

It’s not just customers – some business owners say their employees are getting to work late and leaving early to avoid the traffic jams. The owners have one important message – traffic is really not that bad except during the morning and evening commute times. Through the heart of the day and in the evening hours it flows just fine – and they are open for business!