The continued risk for people crossing Central Avenue in Nob Hill has neighbors and businesses pushing the city for a new fix across the ART bus lanes.
The concern is over a three-block stretch of Central between Carlisle and Wellesley, an area with a high-density of parking and businesses in the Nob Hill neighborhood. Neighbors are now pushing the city to consider adding a possible new crosswalk in the area.
Before the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project was paved, medians helped serve as a refuge for people crossing that stretch of Central. While the medians have since been replaced with ART bus lanes, many people still cross the area where there are no crosswalks.
“We don’t want danger in Nob Hill,” said Gary Eyster, president of the Nob Hill Neighborhood Association.
Eyster and Nob Hill Main Street Association President Kurt Oelsner recently penned a joint letter asking the city to consider adding new crosswalks to the Nob Hill area, across Central.
“Everybody really understands the value and the necessity of a crosswalk in Nob Hill,” said Oelsner, who also owns the “Chocolate Dude” business on Central.
Friday afternoon, KRQE News 13’s cameras caught around a dozen people crossing Central near Tulane Street, an area where there is no designated crosswalk. Many of those people were pausing in the ART lanes, which are sometimes used by drivers to make illegal U-turns.
“They are taking the risk, and if they want to park across the street from a business, they’re going to try to shoot across that road and it is dangerous,” said Oelsner.
The ART project eliminated a crosswalk in the three-block stretch between Wellesley and Carlisle. That crosswalk used to be located at Amherst Drive, where the former Zacatecas was located.
“There were crossings at every corner until ART,” said Eyster. “You’d walk across the two lanes, you’d get refuge in the median.”
“We’ve all been very disappointed,” said Eyster on the reduction in Nob Hill street crossings on Central.
City officials from the Albuquerque Transit Department recently took a tour of the area to get a closer look at the problem. KRQE News 13 has learned that city officials are now going to see if there are any additions they can make.
Neighbors say they hope to hear back in the next month about whether the city will make a change. They hope it’s a positive turning point.
“I want this community to be safer and I want these businesses to thrive,” said Oelsner.
Today, there’s just one crosswalk were people can cross the ART lanes on Central that doesn’t have a traffic signal like a stop light or a HAWK signal. That crosswalk is in front of Manzano Day School in Old Town.