ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Six crashes in less than two weeks, all of them caused by people cutting off the ART buses or veering into the bus lanes. So are drivers finally getting the hint?
“It’s unfortunate that we’ve seen this many crashes so soon,” city spokesperson Alicia Manzano said. “Making a left hand turn into the ART lane, encroaching upon the lane with the front end of their car.”
KRQE News 13’s crews spent an hour and a half on Central Avenue on Thursday morning, looking for drivers violating ART traffic laws on some of the problem stretches.
KRQE News 13’s cameras didn’t catch any violations—a far cry from earlier this year when illegal turns could be spotted every couple of minutes. The Albuquerque Police Department has been writing a lot of warnings since service started on November 30.
“APD traffic unit has given out about 177 warnings,” APD spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos said.
On Central between Old Coors and 52nd Street, the city has set up flags and cones, keeping drivers from crossing the bus lanes. The city did the same near the River of Lights.
The city has 20 ART buses; at least 16 have to be in the field every day. Two buses are currently in the repair shop because of crashes. KRQE News 13 asked if the city’s concerned about running out of buses if crashes continue happening at this rate.
“That concern is not there yet, just because we know these other two buses are going to be repaired fairly quickly,” Manzano said.
The city says only two buses involved in crashes were in need of repairs, the others just suffered cosmetic damage.
Someone has created a website featuring an “ART crash clock.” It shows the time that has passed since the last crash.