City changing Tingley Beach landscape to help roadside visibility


A roadside project near Tingley Beach is aimed at helping make the areas safer for drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and wildlife. 

For years, the city says the area along Tingley Drive has been shrouded with overgrown native grasses that have made it hard for drivers and cyclists to see crossing wildlife. 

Crews started the project in August and have already removed much of the bushy grass in the medians and along the edge of the wall bordering Tingley Drive. 

A cyclist, Charles Miller, says he’s familiar with how the vegetation has affected visibility, specifically with crossing ducks and geese. 

“They come out of that brush,” said Miller. “I’ve actually come really close to almost hitting geese.” 

Many drivers have also had close calls on Tingley with some stopping in the middle of the road to avoid hitting the large birds, which cross through the native grasses in the median. 

“They do need to at least make it so that people can see,” said Chris Hannum, who frequently walks in the Bosque. 

The city now hopes its Tingley Drive landscaping project will help.

“We want to open up Tingley Beach, not only visually but aesthetically,” said Erica Renz, the project manager overseeing the Tingley landscaping changes for the city of Albuquerque’s Department of Municipal Development. 

Since the native grasses were planted more than a decade ago, Renz says the vegetation “grew very quickly,” almost creating a barrier. 

That barrier has caused some visibility issues along the road, especially in the medians near Alcalde Road and Kit Carson Park. 

“It’s that surprise factor that motorists aren’t always aware of,” said Renz. 

Crews are continuing work to remove the overgrown grasses. Colored concrete is being added to the ends of the medians, while other areas that are now dirt will soon be topped with crushed fine gravel. 

The city hopes the project will help save water and make it a lot easier to see up and down Tingley Drive. 

“The line of sight of course for our motor vehicles is very important, their ability to see the geese crossing and our pedestrians crossing,” said Renz. 

The city says the project is about two-thirds complete. They estimate the work will be done by the end of September. 

The project is costing the city about $207,986, with funding coming from the BioPark sales tax. 

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