"The construction and everything that goes with it has brought my business down to about 60 percent," Wood said. "Now that the construction isn't right in front of my door, it's picked up a little, but it's absolutely my regular customers coming in."
Wood and other Bird Rock business owners said their sales have taken a hit from the Bird Rock Coastal Traffic Flow Improvement Project, meant to upgrade sewer lines, install roundabouts and create more parking spaces.
Though the Bird Rock Community Council couldn't agree on the exact date until recently, the December Moratorium was meant to ease shopping by delaying construction, thereby helping merchants through the holiday season.
Now, construction is scheduled to cease Friday, Dec. 7, and begin again Dec. 26. Construction companies will clean the streets and remove their equipment. This moratorium is meant to help the many businesses experiencing the crunch.
"We've only gotten half the business we had before the construction started up," said Domenica Rodriguez, a waitress at The French Pastry CafÃ©, 5550 La Jolla Blvd. "Just the regulars come in because they live around here."
But on the other side of the street, where construction has rerouted traffic, some business owners said the slow-down has increased revenue.
San Diego Prestige Exotic & Luxury Transportation Rentals, located on the east side of La Jolla Boulevard, has experienced an uptick in business.
"Because they are driving super slow, we have had more business," said Franck Danglard, CEO of San Diego Prestige.
The high-end car and yacht rental company has seen a boost in their walk-in traffic. But Danglard's concern is that the increase may cease when the construction moves to the other side.
"If you're on the good side "“ it's good for you," he said.
While businesses such as the wholesale Julian Bakery report that their customer base remains constant, the Bird Rock Coffee Roasters' Chuck Patton said the amount of traffic depends on where the construction is in comparison to the business. His coffee shop has not suffered yet.
The construction project has installed one roundabout early, and has created diagonal parking spaces along La Jolla Boulevard. Construction is scheduled for completion in June 2008. Merchants are holding out for future benefits of the project, Wood said.
"The diagonal parking will really help to get more cars in here for shopping," Wood said.
Although owners and residents are dealing with a large amount of dust and debris, Wood said the community decided to make the district more festive for the holidays.
"We are lighting up more of the trees," she said. "And installing the rest of the holiday lights around the neighborhood."
For more information, go to the project's webpage, www.hhat.com. For a water or sewer emergency, the City of San Diego's phone number is (619) 515-3525. The project's hotline is (888) 481-1428.