ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Drivers using Central Avenue to get across town are getting stuck in long lines of traffic, but instead of waiting at the traffic lights, business owners said drivers are breaking the law and using their parking lots as short cuts.
George Katsaros and his brother Lou own Monte Carlo Steakhouse located just east of Atrisco on Central Avenue. Almost a year into Albuquerque Rapid Transit construction and the two said they’re used to drivers cutting across their parking lot just to avoid traffic.
“They’re doing whatever they can to get home,” Katsaros said.
Drivers can’t make a left hand turn at the light to get onto Atrisco, which means they’re cutting across the steakhouse parking lot instead.
“They’re using whichever parking lot they can find,” Katsaros said. “Not just mine.”
He wasn’t wrong. In just an hour, KRQE News 13 caught more than two dozen vehicles cut across the Walgreens parking lot at Rio Grande and Central.
Then, more than a dozen drivers cut across the steakhouse parking lot, in less than 30 minutes. Katsaros said his only concern is that drivers are not slowing down.
“They’re going really fast and it creates a little bit of a safety concern but hopefully at the end of the day everyone is fine,” he said.
But Katsaros and other business owners tell KRQE News 13 that although they are frustrated, they don’t blame drivers. Instead, they’re pointing their fingers at the ART project.
“You have one lane of traffic each way, it could be a lot better,” Katsaros said. “I don’t’ understand in this day in age why it isn’t? Looks like the city did poor planning on their part and unfortunately and no one seems to care.
Since it is against the law to cut through a parking lot to avoid traffic, police can cite drivers if they catch them.