Shopping plaza driveway closure frustrates customers, businesses because of 'inconvenience'

Customers 'frustrated', businesses impacted

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -  

A portion of Truxtun extension is seeing an expansion as construction for the westside parkway entrances continue. 
 
It's good news for drivers, bad news for business owners in the area, particularly the plaza where Moo Creamery sits. 
 
Today, their main driveway was closed indefinitely.
 
Instead of turning off Truxtun, customers now have to turn onto commercial way, make a left onto commerce drive and go around the block; adding nearly a mile more to their commute. 
 
"The construction is confusing. So it was very very inconvenient," said plaza customer Carol Hayhurst.
 
Customers traveling westbound on Truxtun have been doing that since last year when the city closed the left turn off Truxtun into the plaza.
 
"Since they took away the left turn access we estimated about 20 percent reduction in our walk in business,"  said Moo Creamery owner Richard Yoshimura.
 
Yoshimura expects another drop in business now that no one can enter directly off Truxtun. 
 
But he said so far Friday, he had not seen a dip in business.
 
While the driveway closure may not have made much of an impact for Moo Creamery that's not the case for other businesses here at the shopping plaza.
 
Paragon salon said their phones have been ringing off the hook all day Friday. 
 
Hayhurst had to call several times to ask for directions. 
 
"I was half hour late partly because my GPS led me to the closed driveway entrance, but once I got here I drove around for 15 minutes out there trying to find out how to get in here (through the back entrance)," said Hayhurst.
 
"It's just frustrating because people can't find the place and people are passing it nonstop and it takes 30 minutes to turn around because there's no place they can do a U turn," said salon receptionist Kaitlyn Chrisco
 
Chrisco said customers have been late for their appointments or completely missed them because of the driveway closure. 
 
"And with all the dust and tractors people just think it's a construction site and that we don't even exist anymore," said Chrisco.
 
While businesses realize they cannot stop the construction, they are asking for signage.
 
"They need more road signs because nobody can even find it because there's no sign saying paragon is here make a left make a right," said Chrisco.
 
Customers at both businesses said the construction may test their loyalty but won't break it.
 
"It will probably determine the time of days that we come down," said Moo Creamery customer Heather Calderwood.
 
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