ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s the battle of the signs between the City of Albuquerque and a popular local restaurant.
That restaurant has a sign in the middle of Central Avenue, prompting customers to turn into its parking lot. However, it just so happens to be placed right in front of a “no left turn” sign put up by the city.
These days, it’s a complete construction zone along Central Avenue. There are cones, barrels and signs telling drivers they can’t make right-or-left turns.
The one in front of Garcia’s Kitchen tells drivers, heading west along Central, that they can’t turn left into the parking lot.
“They reroute the traffic all the time and we really wanted people to know how to get in here and that we were still open,” Miia Hebert said.
As soon as the city put up its signs, Garcia’s Kitchen made its own and placed them just feet in front of the city’s signs.
“We put a sign out that says ‘Garcia’s Kitchen, enter and exit.’ We did not put an arrow to make the illegal left turn into our parking lot,” Hebert said.
But Garcia’s customers are clearly interpreting the “enter or exit” sign as an invitation to turn left. In just an hour, KRQE News 13 cameras caught a handful of divers who made the left turn as they headed west down Central.
“Yeah. We’re making the left turns. We have to get there. We want to support the local restaurants and businesses,” Brenda Grier said.
“Good for Garcia’s. Good for them. We’ll be backing them up,” Anita Vigil said. “These companies need to do whatever they need to do because all the construction is confusing.”
Garcia’s Kitchen said the signs will stay up.
Police can ticket drivers who make the left turn, but that’s only if an officer happens to see it.
The city said businesses should not place signs in the middle of construction zones, because it only creates a “safety hazard” for drivers.