Bicyclists use empty ART lanes to their advantage

People in Albuquerque have seen drivers use the ART bus lanes illegally, but now a new group is taking over — bicyclists. Police say not only is it against the law, it’s dangerous.

The ART lanes are becoming a hub for bicyclists because of how smooth and open they are. However, police say they can expect the same consequences as drivers if they’re caught breaking the rules.

New, smooth and traffic free — bicyclists are taking over the ART lanes.

“The lane is really great. It gives us our own independent security roadway to ride,” said Victor S.

“Who wants to ride on Gold when you’ve got ART’s beautiful lane just so accessible?” said David L. Grayson.

Cyclists say the ART lanes are a safe alternative to riding in the road.

“They don’t have all the bumps like you do on some roads and cars can’t ride in that lane,” Grayson said.

“There’s less risk for getting hit by a car, I could have my awareness down,” said Travis Foster. 

KRQE News 13 put a camera at an ART stop in Nob Hill for a little over an hour and caught more than half a dozen bicyclists using the lane to their advantage. Police say cyclists must follow the same traffic laws as drivers.

“People riding bicycles face the same traffic laws that drivers do, so if they are violating any traffic laws they are definitely subject of citations,” said Gilbert Gallegos, Albuquerque Police Communications Director. 

APD says it’s handed out about 175 warnings to people making illegal turns or riding in the restricted lanes in the past few weeks.

“It’s dangerous for everybody if you’re in that restricted lane. It’s restricted for a reason because the big city buses, the ART buses, could be…coming through when you’re least expecting it,” Gallegos said. “The goal here isn’t to punish drivers and bicyclists, it’s to keep people safe.”

APD says officers will still be giving out warnings for the next few months until the busses are fully up and running.

The ART busses are expected to be running by late fall. When APD does start issuing citations, they will cost a minimum of $80.
 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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