Changes to JCPenney parking lot leave drivers confused - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Changes to JCPenney parking lot leave drivers confused

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Changes at the JCPenney store at Stowell and Broadway in Santa Maria are causing some problems in the store’s parking lot.

The flow of traffic was changed so cars don’t drive near the construction area, but shoppers and drivers say navigating through the area is confusing and downright dangerous.

“When I drove in, I was facing the sun and so that glare, I couldn’t see the lines at all,” said Sherrie Amido, Santa Maria resident.

When drivers pull into the JCPenney parking lot, they see an arrow indicating it’s a driveway but with parking spots still noticeable.

“It’s very confusing. I mean, they have covered up some lines but they still show through so you don’t know if you can park there or you can’t park there,” said Carole Edwards, Santa Maria resident.

Changes to the parking lot were made when construction began on the department store.

Drivers are supposed to follow the arrows and cut through the parking lot with caution but shoppers say not everyone drives slowly enough.

“I’ve noticed people almost getting hit by cars, drivers not paying attention. It’s odd the way the roadway goes straight through the parking lot. There’s got to be a better solution, or maybe close the Stowell exit,” said Miguel Esquivel, Santa Maria resident.

The shopping center’s property manager, Ken Albertson, says the changes are temporary modifications while crews remodel the business.

He says it takes time for drivers to get used to change and that people should use caution in a parking lot at all times. 

Shopper Phil Beek agrees. 

“When you are driving in a parking lot, you have to be aware of pedestrians or other cars. You have to see potential situations before they happen,” Beek said.  

On Tuesday, crews re-painted some of the lines in the parking lot, making the driveway more noticeable.

Still, drivers and pedestrians say they'll be on alert.

“People drive pretty fast in this town and if you don’t pay attention you can get in an accident,” said Louis Schot, New Cuyama resident.  

The manager of JCPenney says construction should be complete by February, and while they are not in charge of the parking situation, they worry how it will affect the chaos of Black Friday.

All stores in the shopping center, including JCPenney, are open during construction. 

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