Local businesses see customer losses because of inconvenience

By Chris Nelson

With all of the construction in and around campus, one wonders whether NIU should change its mascot from the Huskie to the Road Horse.

Yet another herd of these horses has appeared recently parading down Lincoln Highway, just south of Annie Glidden Road. This new road work has left many drivers and area businesses rather unhappy.

While some establishments that line the road were reticent to comment on the effect of the roadwork, most of those surveyed were not shy about expressing their dislike for this next DeKalb construction project.

“It (the construction) slows things down,” said John Launer, owner of Sports of All Sorts. “The traffic creates a real hassle for people to come to this side of town.”

Launer stated he had not known of the construction until it was just about to begin, a situation shared by many business owners surveyed.

Jim Tatman, owner of University Barber, said notice of the construction was posted in local papers prior to the beginning of work. Despite the fact that Tatman was the only owner interviewed who knew in advance of the construction, he too has seen a drop in business.

Tammy Mazur, manager of Gill’s Amoco, said business has dropped by 50 percent since the construction began.

“Yesterday (Tuesday), construction workers had our entrance blocked off,” Mazur said. “I just don’t understand why this work wasn’t done in the summer,” when traffic is generally lighter on the road.

According to Karen Flowers, manager of The Junction Eating Place, the construction has created a slight impact on business.

“Actually, the waitresses have been the ones complaining about business being slow,” Flowers said.

Glidden Florist employee Christine Heckert, who is also a commuting NIU student, said this new work makes getting to campus and work that much harder.

“I have to allow five or 10 minutes extra to get around, particularly now with work being done on campus as well as the highway,” Heckert said.