Bicyclists merging with cars at dangerous Albuquerque intersection

It’s a dangerous intersection for drivers and cyclists. It’s advertised as part of the city-wide bike path, but drivers have no way to know they’re supposed to share the road. 

“It should never have been a bike route in the first place as it is designated on the bike map,” said Scot Key, an avid cyclist.

At one of the busiest interchanges in Albuquerque, the state and city are telling cyclists to merge with fast-moving cars exiting Paseo Del Norte onto Coors. 

“You feel like your disappearing in a wave of vehicles and rivers,” said Key.

Key says after a ride this weekend, he realized how big of a problem the Coors/Paseo interchange is for everyone. 

“With those on and off ramps merging with cyclists, it’s just pretty crazy,” he said. 

The interchange is owned by the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT), and they are responsible for a single sign telling cyclists to merge with drivers exiting Paseo. It reads “Bicycles merge right”, directing cyclists into two lanes of traffic coming off of Paseo. 

However, there are no signs along the off-ramp telling drivers to be on the lookout for bikes merging into their two lanes of traffic. 

“That sign was written by a driver who thinks cyclists are somehow drivers and we can go as fast and merge as easily into road driver traffic,” Key said. 

Online, the city of Albuquerque advertises the space as part of a ‘bike path’ where cars and bikes share the road. 

“In my particular case, I followed the bike map and suffered the consequences of being in a very unsafe environment,” Scot Key said. 

Key believes the state can add more signage or make the interchange safer, the city should not be advertising this area as a path safe for bikers. 

“It’s a feeling of a total lack of safety,” he said. 

KRQE News 13 spoke with the city and the NMDOT. Both say they work closely with multiple groups on creating bike paths and lanes. The DOT also added they’re willing to make changes to make sure the interchange is safe for everyone. 

KRQE News 13 asked the city if they thought it was a safe area to advertise as a bike route, but they did not answer that question. Instead, they sent the following statment:

The Albuquerque bicycle map is created annually and with the help of MRCOG and NMDOT.  We create a new map every year and will continue to work with both agencies when creating this map. 

City of Albuquerque Bike Map

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