ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A curve along a busy university-area road is getting an update that could help keep speeding drivers off of the sidewalk. Crews spent Monday installing a metal guard rail where Coal Avenue curves to the south just west of University Boulevard.

The area has seen a lot of crashes in the last decade since the city revamped Lead and Coal Avenue in 2010. Just east of Ash Street, the eastbound, one-way Coal Avenue curves to the right. Over the years, several cars have crashed into trees and a series of concrete-filled black bollards that have served as a buffer between the roadway and nearby sidewalk.

KRQE News 13 heard from several neighbors and a property owner in April 2015 who expressed concern about the area. An apartment complex owner, Jesse Mendoza said he would like to see “some sort of deflective barrier” put up along the Coal Avenue curve. “We need to keep the cars off the sidewalk, that’s the bottom line,” Mendoza said.

Seeing the new guard railing being installed Monday, neighbor Doug Brandt expressed approval. “All those pillars were knocked down and it was really concerning,” Brandt said.

Albuquerque’s Department of Municipal Development (DMD) said Monday the guard is a “more appropriate traffic control measure.” The department says as the bollards were still getting hit by cars, it hopes the guard rail will “provide more protection and will be more visible to drivers.”

Neighbor Andi Gustke said Monday she’s glad to see the change. “I think it’s really cool that we’re actually trying to something else to make it a better experience driving on Coal,” she said.

Albuquerque DMD also says the guard rail is made of weathered steel with a rusted look which they hope people find will more visually appealing. The city is spending about $18,000 on the project. They believe the maintenance costs will be about the same as they were with the bollards.

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