Correction issued below:
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been years in the making, the city of Albuquerque is finally installing signals on Lead and Coal in a spot where many drivers speed, but neighbors along Lead and Coal at Walter St. say they wonder if the signals will be enough.
Picking up speed heading downhill along the stretch of Lead between the I-25 off-ramp and Broadway can be easy for drivers, which is one of the reasons why Albuquerque city councilor Ike Benton has been trying to get traffic signals installed for at least the past six years.
With construction beginning on Monday, some neighbors say it’s been a long time coming. “We’re at a loss for what to do. We’re not sure whether or not the street light is going to help. I know when it’s red, it may slow people down. I’m not even sure that they are going to stop at this one, but hopefully, it works,” said Albuquerque resident John Armijo-Usinger.
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Residents like Armijo-Usinger say speeding along both corridors has gotten so bad that even after putting signs warning drivers to slow down, it didn’t change their behavior, now they’re hopeful the lights will. A city Department of Municipal Development spokesperson says with a 30-mile-an-hour speed limit on both Lead and Coal. The smart signals will turn red if they detect speeders coming their way.
“Unless you are going the speed limit, you may not be presented with a green light, so it’s something that should reduce speeding in the area and make the roadways hopefully a lot safer,” said Department of Municipal Development Spokesperson Scott Cilke.
The city also addressed concerns raised by drivers saying the new lights could create backups. They say that shouldn’t be an issue. The new signals on Lead and Coal should be up and running sometime in December. The city is also looking at other areas along Lead and Coal to install the rest in red signals in the near future.
Correction: In a previous version, KRQE reported that the signals would be up in two weeks from the time this article was published. However, the signals will be up sometime in December.