As road construction projects throughout the city continue to plague local travelers, the weary business community is voicing increased unrest about the effects on commerce and the need for help from the city.
"I don't know how they expect businesses to survive," said Revere House restaurant owner Robert Restaino. "Business is off probably 40%."
Restaino said that while the recession is partly responsible for the slowdown, local road and freeway projects are mainly to blame. He said that the restaurant, at 900 1st Street, is virtually impossible to reach since closure of the 1st Street bridge last December. The bridge will not reopen until March, 1993.
Overall, city sales tax revenues have fallen short of projections by about $400,000, according to 1991-92 budget estimates. Like Restaino, city officials attribute the shortfall to the recession and to Costa Mesa Freeway improvements that have limited access to local businesses.
To ease business owners' woes, the Chamber of Commerce has asked the city to relax its sign codes and to allow businesses affected by construction to hang banners letting residents know they are still open.
Bob Bartels, chamber vice president, said the measure would be temporary and could improve business for establishments that rely on walk-in patrons. The council is expected to vote on the measure at an upcoming meeting.
Here is the status of continuing construction projects on the Costa Mesa Freeway and the impact on Tustin:
- The northbound off-ramp to Irvine Boulevard and 4th Street is tentatively scheduled to open in December.
- The southbound 17th Street off-ramp will be closed from mid-April to late July.
- Main Street will be closed between Williams Street and St. Jeannes School from mid-April through early 1993. When the Williams Street-St. Jeannes School portion reopens, Caltrans will close the area between Myrtle Avenue and Stoneglass Road for about seven months.
- Nisson Road will remain closed for an additional five months.