ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – They’re two of Albuquerque’s busiest streets and they’re a hot spot for accidents. Now neighbors want the city to do more to fix it.
Residents near Lead and Coal say speeding cars have changed their way of life. “People live in fear, people live in fear,” says Joseph Aguirre.
Residents say overturned cars and trucks into fences have become the norm in their University and Nob Hill neighborhoods. “It’s indicative of this corner right here, you see people coming around that turn, everyone speeds up,” says Dominic Peralta.
They say four rollovers in the past 21 months have them on edge. “These conditions are unacceptable. This is not a way for a city to treat its neighborhoods,” Aguirre says.
Neighbors have started the Lead-Coal Safety Brigade. They believe their neighborhood streets weren’t made for high volumes of traffic, and they want the city to do more to protect them. “Enforcement, attention to obvious hazards, sometimes the visibility is really really bad,” Aguirre says.
DMD Spokesperson Johnny Chandler says the city created the Lead Coal Task Force to address neighborhoods concerns. Chandler says over the past 10 years, the city has invested $25 million into improving Lead and Coal.
“We have limited those to two lanes each direction, we’ve added ADA compliance separated sidewalks from the roadways, we also have a dedicated team of landscapers for great line of sight for the vehicles,” Chandler says.
Most recently, they’ve shortened the traffic lights to prevent speeders on both streets. “If you go 30 miles an hour on Lead or Coal, you will hit every single green light. If you go any faster, you’ll be wasting your time and it will actually take your commute much longer,” Chandler says.
Members of the safety brigade say they’d like to see the city have a third party perform a safety audit on Lead and Coal. The neighbors are scheduled to meet with the Lead Coal Task Force again on Aug. 27.
The city says at the end of fall, they will perform a traffic study to see if shortening the lights slows speeders. If so, they plan to add signs to remind drivers of the 30 mph speed limit.