ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Next time you drive Route 66 in Downtown Albuquerque, you’ll notice something new. There are now gates at 3rd, 5th, and 8th along Central.

The idea isn’t new, in fact, the police department said the stands have been in place for years. However, it wasn’t until just last week that the arms were actually put up.

“Part of the reason we’re doing that is to kind of make it a little bit cleaner Downtown, that way it doesn’t look like it’s so uninviting for people that are coming into Downtown to see the barricades, and everything else up,” Albuquerque Police Department (APD) Deputy Chief Josh Brown said.

Instead of using orange barricades to close off Central during busy weekend nights Downtown, APD will now be using gates to help traffic control and keep people safe while the bars are open.

“This is part of APD’s contribution to revitalize Downtown and kind of getting folks to come back out and enjoy the Downtown crowd,” Brown said.

The gates will come down at 10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday, and Sunday at 8 p.m. During special events like Art Walk, they may get lowered sooner.

Brown said, while the gates are meant to be used in the long term, they’re still looking at making the system more durable after a driver hit and bent one of the arms last weekend.

“So far, they’ve been successful. We had one person run into one, but they’re replaceable, so that way, we can replace as needed,” Brown said.