ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Police say they believe a person hit by an ART bus across from the University of New Mexico on Wednesday was jaywalking.
It happened at Central and Buena Vista where many people say jaywalking across the ART lane is common and will continue to be a problem being so close to campus.
“It’s a new system and I think if people just follow the kind of obvious sidewalk, you know, the areas where you have to get on the ART bus, it would probably avoid a lot more accidents,” Miguel Galindo of Albuquerque said.
APD said the person was hit by the ART bus about 50 yards from the nearest crosswalk just before noon. He was taken to the hospital to be treated for his injuries.
People say the fact that this area has a so-called bi-directional lane is an extra danger for pedestrians who don’t realize they need to look both ways before crossing. That’s because the bus can be coming from either direction, even though the bus lane is on the westbound side of Central.
“The buses are going in two different directions, correct? And it’s very confusing for the jaywalkers,” Shyla Lavalle of Albuquerque said.
People should also be aware that even if the traffic lanes are stopped, the ART is used as an express lane so the bus could still be moving.
This incident comes less than a day after a woman was hit and killed by an ART bus off Central and Maple, west of UNM. Witnesses said the woman was running in and out of the street, getting in front of cars and ultimately jumped into the path of the bus around 7:40 p.m. The city has not confirmed what led to that incident.
Officials have also not said if the person hit on Wednesday was a UNM student or given any other identifying information.
KRQE News 13 asked how many jaywalking tickets police have given since the ART started rolling at the end of November, but never got that answer. Those fines reach $80.
The city said that after the deadly crash on Tuesday, four ART buses are now out of service and they expect one of them to be back on the route by the end of the week.