El Paseo parking construction delayed due to hazardous septic tanks

Regina Yurrita

Customers and business owners are navigating a tight parking lot that’s only worsened since construction started.

The project is meant to improve the lot but as locals wait for the end result, parking has become even more of a problem than before. 

“It’s kind of hard to find parking. you have to drive around,” said Christa King, a resident from the Coachella Valley. 

Shop owners say they’re worried about losing customers during the process especially as the busy season picks up. 

“However the construction has definitely been hard. all the parking in the back area where many people used to park is gone now. Everyone who used to park there is parking on the street. There’s really no street parking right now,” said Kaitlyn Singer, the manager of Aveda beauty shop on El Paseo. 

Businesses have taken a huge hit during the pandemic and cannot afford to lose anymore customers. They are asking  the city why construction is happening now and not during a slower season.

“The unfortunate part is that no one could foresee that there were 8 septic tanks buried underneath the parking lot and so that delay means that they had to be treated very carefully as those tanks are hazardous materials,” said Karina Quintanilla. 

The city says the delay was unexpected but it is a serious matter that they don’t want to rush. In the meantime they’re coming up with several solutions to help the businesses.

“We are looking at two possible parking lot sights that can be dedicated to support that. there is a possibility that we may even offer valet. if any of the restaurants wants to hire their own valet,” said Quintanilla. 

While they wait for the city’s solution, businesses are taking matters into their own hands to avoid losing regular customers.

“I’m trying to get creative about it, how to help them make sure they get what they need. We offer free shipping, curbside pick-up, so I’m trying to put that on blast via email and social media so that there are fixes in the meantime” said Singer. 

Locals realize the construction isn’t forever and when it’s over the parking situation will be better, but they hope the city’s solution comes sooner rather than later.

If you are in the area, do expect some minor traffic and at least a 10 to 15 minute wait to find a parking space as construction continues strong.

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