ART lane configuration near Old Town leaves drivers scratching their heads

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Stay out of the ART bus lane and you’ll be fine. That’s what Albuquerque drivers have been told now that the buses are rolling — but there’s a big problem with that at one intersection.

Drivers on Central have no choice but to drive through the ART lane if they want to turn left onto San Pasquale into the country club area.

“You have to look on your right, have to be quick because you don’t want to worry about pedestrians, so I do find it very difficult and dangerous,” driver Lynn Carviso said.

Drivers say the configuration is very confusing, as they have to cross over the ART lane to get to the left turn lane.

Drivers have been told by the city to stay in their lane and out of the ART lanes at all times. But a look at the intersection from above shows drivers heading west on Central are on the right side of the ART lane for blocks, then suddenly have no choice but to cross through it to get to the left-turn lane at San Pasquale.

There have already been multiple crashes because drivers are illegally turning in front of the ART and failing to check their mirrors to see if a bus is coming up behind them on their left.

“Even though there is a big message about staying out of the ART lane, and that’s certainly true, there is one exception here, and if you are following the markings on the roadway as every motorist should be, it’s somewhat self-explanatory,” city spokesperson Johnny Chandler said.

The city says it was part of the initial design to allow for a left turn at that location. He says if drivers follow the rules of the road and check their driver’s side mirror before merging, they will be fine.

KRQE News 13 asked if the city plans to add any signage to the area. The city says it’s looking closely at the entire bus route to see what tweaks need to be made.

There are some areas where illegal crossers are more common than others. The city has already had to put concrete curbs or temporary barriers in those areas to keep drivers from crossing over.

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