City Councilor looking to expand Paseo and Unser to minimize traffic

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Albuquerque’s westside is expanding fast, and drivers are frustrated. Now, a city councilor wants to put an end to the traffic nightmare.

“This intersection, particularly at Paseo and Unser… there’s only one lane in either direction,” said Philip Gunn.

Westsider and lemonade entrepreneur, Philip Gunn, has seen some serious problems at the intersection of Paseo and Unser over the years.

“The people who want to drive fast, tailgate everyone. That makes the people who don’t want to drive fast, nervous,” he said. 

Gunn says as long as he can remember, it’s been like this and it’s only getting worse.

“Ever since this road came, it’s been like that. It hasn’t ever not been like that,” he said.

City Councilor Cynthia Borrego is hoping to finally put an end to the congestion nightmare that occurs at rush hour. She’s looking at two major projects for Paseo and Unser.

“To expand Paseo del Norte to four lanes. Essentially from Kimmick west to Rainbow,” she said. “I envision Unser to be improved with four lanes.”

To do that, she’ll start my introducing a resolution during Monday night’s city council meeting. She’ll ask the council to prioritize her proposed expansion project.

“You see the problems that we’re having with Paseo in terms of congestion. Not only that, but air quality issues with people just idling in traffic at peak hours,” said Borrego.

Her idea is something westsiders like Gunn can get on board with. He hopes this project will trickle into more expansions on the Westside.

“I think what would really help is more lanes and maybe up the speed limit a notch to 45 or something like that,” said Gunn.

A study in Councilor Borrego’s resolution says Paseo and Unser see about 24,000 vehicles a day. In comparison, intersections like Coors and Paseo and I-40 and Unser see a total of 253,000 vehicles a day.

The cost for this project is $18 million.

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