20 mph speed limit in place in ‘Downtown Safety Zone’


A push downtown to get drivers to slow down doesn’t seem to be sinking in just yet.

The city has started putting up new speed limit signs, lowering the max to 20 mph in the newly-established Downtown Safety Zone, which runs from just south of Lomas down to Coal and from Eighth Street to the railroad tracks.

On Friday, it appeared people either aren’t noticing the new speed limit or they’re just ignoring it.

“You have the few that rev up their engines and peel out from one light to the other,” James Martinez said about the speeders along Central Avenue in downtown.

“I think people in this town kind of drive how they please,” David Silverman of Albuquerque added. 

The new speed limit signs were installed this week, according to City Councilor Isaac Benton. 

“I haven’t noticed them,” Patrick Vallejos of Albuquerque said.

Apparently, neither have many drivers.

KRQE News 13 camped out on Lead and counted more people going over the limit than following it.

Then, where people were turning into downtown from Lomas, which is still 30, one driver was doing more than twice the new speed limit.

The new signs are just the first step in Benton’s vision to make his district safer, a plan that also includes better pedestrian and railroad crossings. 

“The goal is to make downtown a more walkable place for pedestrians,” Benton said.

Councilor Benton knows it’ll take time for people to get used to the change.

“I’m not surprised to see any speeding in Albuquerque,” he said.

“Laws are only as good as they’re enforced, so hopefully people notice it and slow down a little bit,” Silverman said.

KRQE News 13 asked the Albuquerque Police Department if it plans to have extra enforcement to make sure people follow the new speed limit, but did not hear back.

Benton’s downtown safety plan also calls for turning Marquette and Tijeras into two-way streets to slow down drivers. There’s no timeline for those changes.

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