A planned high-volume drive-thru coffee shop near the corner of Cabezon Road and Loma Larga-Ellison Drive has residents in Skyview Acres warning that Corrales’ heavily-used exit to the south would become impassable from lined up cars. The now-vacant land east of the Mister Carwash along Highway 528 (Alameda Boulevard) is the site for a Dutch Brothers coffee shop and a phase two 3,350 square foot restaurant with another drive-thru. Neither of these would have a direct connection to Loma Larga-Ellison, but members of the Skyview Acres Neighborhood Association have raised the prospect that vehicles trying to enter the drive-thru lanes will bring stacked-up traffic especially when the coffee shop first opens.
The neighborhood association’s Anna Brown submitted comments that among immediate concerns is that “traffic issues on Alameda related to two new drive-thus; one, Dutch Brothers, with a history of heavy traffic. The second drive-thru restaurant is not yet known. The Dutch Brothers is expecting 94 vehicles during the hours of its peak morning traffic. “Traffic cutting though our neighborhood and through the office complex to the east of the property if traffic on Alameda backs up.” However, the developer’s representative. Ronald Bohannan, said analysis has demonstrated that “Dutch Brothers Coffee will not alter commuter traffic, but will capture the pass-by trips already going past the site.… It was determined that a traffic study for Dutch Brothers is not necessary, but will be required with the development of the second pad” for the proposed restaurant.
In a Zoom meeting with the neighborhood association June 30, Bohannan assured traffic impacts there would be minimal because there would be no direction connection with those streets. “There is no direct connection other than to the dental office that goes over to Ellison-Loma Larga.” He said the future coffee shop will have a right-in, right-out access off of Highway 528. The drive-thru would have a lane that would accommodate 30 vehicles waiting to place and receive orders.
Nearby residents are worried that drivers will be impatient about trying to merge into westbound traffic, especially if they will have to make a U-turn to head east. “We believe this is the worse location for a Dutch Brothers they could have selected,” Brown said June 30. Another resident, Jen Kruse, was adamant. “Let me be very clear what we’re concerned about. We’re not concerned about Dutch Brothers traffic coming into our neighborhood. We’re concerned about traffic being backed up on Highway 528, and people knowing that our neighborhood can be a short-cut to get to Corrales Road or to get back to Ellison. “Already currently, we can sit as the ends of our driveways and watch people come in from the Cottonwood side and go out the Loma Larga side or vice versa. We know that our neighborhood is being used as a short-cut.
She pointed out that the Dutch Brothers shop east of Rio Rancho’s Highway 528 has caused congestion problems there.
The association raised other concerns including blowing trash and noise since the business plays music outdoors from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. A decision on the site development plan is expected before the City of Albuquerque’s Environmental Planning Committee, perhaps July 15. That meeting begins at 840 a.m.