Traffic snarls near Dubuque Starbucks lead to fine, engineering solutions

Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 11:35 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Gus Psihoyos, Dubuque’s city engineer, said that, for the last several months, traffic to enter the Starbucks located on U.S. Highway 20 has been backing up on the frontage road, preventing people from using that road and causing potential problems with through traffic.

”We have had several complaints over the past several months,” Psihoyos said.

These traffic backups are why the City of Dubuque issued Starbucks a $750 fine. Psihoyos said both the city and Plaza 20, which owns the land surrounding the Starbucks at Highway 20 and Devon Drive, hired engineers to recommend both short and long term solutions.

”In fact, Plaza 20 has implemented one of the plans, which is adding additional lane into the Plaza 20 area,” Psihoyos said. “It cost them a significant amount of dollars.”

Nearby is Dunkin’ Donuts with its own traffic problems, but Dunkin’ was able to solve those. Plaza 20 owns this Dunkin’ and leases the land to them.

“They were able to work with Plaza 20 to get additional storage of their initial footprint area and they are stacking cars on the Plaza 20 property to prevent backups on the frontage road and Highway 20,” Psihoyos said.

According to him, Starbucks now needs to do the same: get additional land from Plaza 20 to provide extra stacking for their vehicles.

This situation also affects the opening of the first Sonic Drive-In restaurant in Dubuque, which is supposed to open in the Plaza 20 area in the near future.

”Sonic can start building, but they just have to agree that the engineering recommendations have to be implemented before they can open,” Psihoyos said. ”We are continuing to work with Starbucks and Plaza 20 to try to resolve the issue because obviously we want Sonic to come to town as much as anybody.”

Psihoyos said the city is just asking Plaza 20 and Starbucks to sign an agreement stating it will put the recommendations into place before allowing Sonic to open.

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