Intersection change causes confusion for pedestrians and drivers

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Drivers and pedestrians may need to pay a little more attention at several downtown intersections after traffic lights are being replaced with stop signs.

The intersection at 8th and Coal is causing a lot of confusion for pedestrians and drivers alike. It’s one of the intersections that’s undergoing some change. KRQE News 13 spoke with a pedestrian walking across the street and he didn’t seem to be a fan of the new stop signs.

“We got people in wheel chairs living in the neighborhood and stuff like that. I can’t really see how they’re going to get across,” he said.

The city says this is a project they will be testing out for the next few months to hopefully improve the flow of traffic at this intersection and nine others around downtown.

“There are many unnecessary, unwarranted, stop lights in downtown,” said Andrew Webb, the Planning Policy Spokesperson for the City of Albuquerque.

However, drivers don’t seem to see the point behind the change. KRQE News 13 cameras caught drivers not fully stopping at 8th and Coal, and 8th and Lead. We spoke to a driver coming up to the intersection who doesn’t think a stop sign would be effective.

“People run stop signs, people run red lights, so I mean hopefully you know they’ll stop when they need to stop,” said the driver.

Regardless if people like it or not, the city says drivers and pedestrians will have to learn how to get used to the change.

“The four way stops will require drivers to look around and make sure the crosswalks are clear and over time people will become more educated about how the system works,” said Webb.

Webb also adds the change will help pedestrians cross the street faster, slow down traffic to minimize accidents, and reduce wait times for drivers.

The city will revisit the nine intersections in a few months to see how people are responding to the change. If the transition doesn’t go smoothly, they will go back to the drawing board.

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