Updated: Sunday, 02 May 2010, 11:17 PM MDT
Published : Sunday, 02 May 2010, 11:17 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - One city councilor wants big traffic changes for a fast growing section of Albuquerque but a portion of the money needed to pay for the project will come from a fund that’s running dry.
The Ventana Ranch area has been booming for years. There is a new high school, a new middle school and lots of new homes.
Many west side residents said there are too many cars and not enough traffic controls, according to City Councilor Dan Lewis, who is sponsoring a proposal that could add new street lights, traffic signals and more turning lanes.
City Council President Ken Sanchez said he supports Lewis’ plan.
“These improvements are long over due, especially with Volcano Vista,” Sanchez said. “Now they got ninth through the tenth grade there is much more traffic in these areas.”
The proposal would add a pedestrian traffic signal and crosswalks in front of both the high school and middle school, more street lights and turning lanes at some intersections, and a traffic signal at Paseo del Norte and Rainbow.
Some drivers said the traffic signal is needed, especially during the morning hours.
“There are long lines of cars,” Jacob Narvaiz said.
However, there are some that said the traffic is really not that bad.
“Its never more than three or four cars waiting like in row,” Byron Stanley said.
Money is a concern for the project. The entire project would cost $650,000. About a third of that will come from the $.25 tax fund. City Council Financial Advisor said the fund only has $600,000 available.
“At this time we are not collecting quarter cent fund--because it expired in December,” Sanchez said.
Some city councilors worry the well is drying up too fast.
“We (the councilors) need to come up with a process of prioritizing the funds," City Councilor Debbie O'Malley said.
However, O’Malley said Lewis’ project may still have a chance in getting a majority vote.
“If he can justify the need for it, then the council will support it,” O’Malley said.
Sanchez said the big reason the $.25 tax fund is so low is because of the Paseo del Norte project, which councilors allocated about $20 million. However, federal money fell through so that project is not expected to happen.
Sanchez said the money should come back into the pot, but he’s not sure when.
Sanchez said this is the lowest the $.25 tax fund has dropped in the past 10 years ago mainly because it expired in December. Voters recently voted to re-start the tax July first.