Neighbors with safety concerns eager to see traffic study results

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ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The city just finished looking at about a dozen intersections downtown to make the streets safer for drivers and people walking.

People who live or just like to walk downtown say getting around is tough when busy intersections don’t have crosswalks and cars don’t slow down.

“It gets kind of scary to be a pedestrian,” said Kathryn Arndt, a downtown resident.

Especially at 2nd and Silver, she said, where the new Silver Street Market is expected to open in July.

News 13 saw some pedestrians make a run for it to get across four lanes of traffic at 2nd Street.

“It’s not a street you amble across,” Arndt said. “It’s not wise.”

Neighbors say a crosswalk and a four-way stop at the intersection would help.

“I support the neighborhood’s request, and I’m sorry it’s taking this long,” said City Councilor Isaac Benton.

Last week, one woman went to city council to make the plea, asking for help for the seniors in the area.

“We don’t walk as fast as we used to and to look like this and try to hop across the street it’s a little nerve-racking,” said Nezzie Shabazz, a downtown resident.

Nearly two years ago, Councilor Benton hired Jeff Speck, a city planner and urban designer based in Massachusetts.

Speck recommended doing away with a lot of traffic signals downtown and option for more four-way stops instead.

“He said a four-way stop requires everybody in every direction to look,” Councilor Benton said.

After Speck’s recommendations, Albuquerque engineers started their own analysis.

The Municipal Development Department told News 13 on Friday that the field work and traffic analysis has been completed, along with a draft report.

The City will now review that draft before releasing a final report in about three weeks.

After that, quick changes could come, Benton said, if the City’s report agrees with neighbors, who are hesitantly, hopeful.

“It’s something we’d really like to see the city do,” Arndt said.

The municipal development department gave us a list of 13 intersections the city studied.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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