In just two weeks, nearly 90,000 students in Albuquerque will head back to school, and some neighborhoods are noticing their crosswalks aren’t ready for the first day.
“I think they’re important and they let drivers know because sometimes we get a lot of cars speeding by and there could be a kid walking,” said Elisabeth Gonzalez, who lives near Petroglyph Elementary School.
Gonzalez, who has lived near the school at Paseo Del Norte and Golf Course much of her life says there have never been crosswalk signs along the busy south side of the school.
“Ever since I lived here it’s always been empty. There’s never any crosswalk signs,” said Gonzalez.
The neighborhood to the south of the school is filled with kids and the crosswalk is heavily used even when school is out of session.
“Even when school is out they can play at the park or just take a walk,” said Gonzalez.
Now, the city says this may be changing soon.
“We are studying that crosswalk as well as all others at middle schools and elementary schools across the city of Albuquerque,” said Johnny Chandler with the city’s Department of Municipal Development.
In March, 12-year-old Eliza Justine Almuina was hit and killed by a car when crossing in a crosswalk near Cleveland Middle School.
In the days that followed, city leaders ordered a safety study of thousands of school crosswalks across the city. The study focuses on finding crosswalks like the one at Petroglyph Elementary, that do not have all the important safety measures.
“Do those crosswalks have flashing lights? Do they have signs? Are they paved well enough? That was our first step this summer,” said Chandler.
Chandler now says the city is looking to see if they can make any changes to the Petroglyph crosswalk before school starts. Neighbors hope they do.
“It would teach them, the drivers, to slow down and just help the kids out to just know there is a crosswalk,” said Gonzalez.
Along with all the students and their parents, city crews will also be heading to schools on the first day.
They’ll be monitoring every crosswalk to see which are the busiest and need changes the most.
They expect the study to be completed this fall.
Albuquerque Public Schools’ first day is Aug. 13.