ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There’s a growing road battle near one of Albuquerque’s new hot spots. The city’s effort to keep cars from cutting through a neighborhood keeps being met with drivers who are willing to damage their cars to cut through.
The city recently added multiple 1,000-pound barrels to keep drivers from cutting through a residential street into the El Vado parking lot, but even that hasn’t stopped them. “They just recently put these huge orange barrels there, those are a joke,” says Mary Baca.
But before these orange barrels separated New York Avenue from the El Vado parking lot “we had just recently a gentlemen wreck right into the planter high center his car and drag it into the middle of the street,” says Brian Lowery.
Ever since developers revamped the El Vado property, the city closed New York Avenue to through traffic, but that hasn’t stopped drivers. “We attended community meetings and they assured us that this was not going to be an accessible lane,” Lowery says.
The city first installed metal poles but those were knocked over a few different times. Then, the city tried cement planters. Those too were hit by drivers. They think one was even intentionally destroyed. Now, even the latest solution – four 1,000-pound construction barrels full of sand – can’t keep drivers out.
Neighbors think the problem would go away if El Vado just added more parking. “On the weekends, New York on this north side is bumper to bumper all the way down to Rio Grande with customers wanting to come to the hotel, eat, and enjoy the music,” Baca says.
And while residents appreciate the revitalization, they hope something changes soon. “We knew this was going to be an issue with the amount of units to the amount of parking, so it’s an ongoing solution that we’re trying to come up with a solution,” Lowery says.
The city tells us since a car recently pushed one of these barrels aside, they know now they’re not heavy enough and they’re going to double the amount of sand inside of them. The city says they are also working with the developer for a more permanent solution later this year.