ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The worldwide shortage of computer chips is putting the brakes on safety improvements along busy metro streets. City crews have been working on the hawk signal on Central between Carlisle Blvd. and Wellesley Dr. for a few weeks now. It looks like it should be good to go but it’s missing a computer chip.
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It’s a popular stretch of central that’s also been very popular for jaywalkers over the years. With nowhere to cross the street for three blocks the city is banking on a hawk signal cutting down on the problem. “If you want to eat at one of these restaurants across the streets you can cross right here instead of another block,” said Albuquerque resident Charlie Abeyta.
But pedestrians will have to wait to use this designated crosswalk. It is one of two safety projects in the area that were supposed to be up and running by the new year.
ABQ City Councilor Pat Davis said back in August, “It would be a first for New Mexico. It’s called “Rest on Red.” So instead of the light being green when you’re approaching the light is red on every approach. If you’re going the speed limit or under it turns green and let’s you go. If you’re speeding you stop.”
Like the hawk signal, the new so-called ‘rest on red’ smart signals that were supposed to go up on Lead and Coal in the Nob Hill and University of New Mexico areas have also been held up by manufacturing delays for computer chips and other materials.
While neighbors look forward to those signals aimed at slowing down speeders, they know it won’t fix every problem. “But then the bad side of it is I don’t know if all the cars will stop at a red light for example it’s a busy road they could run it, drivers here usually just run red lights and all,” Abeyta said.
No word yet on when the parts may come in. The city’s department of municipal development says it usually takes a month or two to order materials for traffic signals, now it can take six months to a year.
At the most recent city council meeting, APD gave an update on the speed camera program. The traffic unit says they’re hoping to have a combination of stationary and mobile cameras around the city by early spring. They’re still trying to figure out what the fines will be, and how many cameras will be deployed.