SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Santa Fe has one of the highest pedestrian death rates in New Mexico. Now, one organization is teaming up with the city to help protect pedestrians by considering changes to the deadliest intersections.
According to Erick Anue from the Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Complete Streets Resolution hopes to slow traffic down and prevent accidents. Some of those changes can be seen at the new roundabout near the Santa Fe Police Department.
“The new roundabout at Camino and Entrada includes extra-large sidewalks for just that reason to move people through that space safely,” said Anue.
The Metropolitan Planning Organization is a group that was made up of members from Santa Fe, the New Mexico Department of Transportation, and the Tesuque Pueblo. Another intersection where the MPO wants to make improvements is along Airport, near South Meadows.
Between 2010 and 2020, there were nearly 550 crashes along that stretch, five leaving pedestrians with injuries and seven involving cyclists. The plan is to include a pedestrian hybrid beacon, which according to the study, can reduce pedestrian crashes by 55%. It will also have a six-foot-wide bike lane. “The Complete Streets Resolution really keys in on safe routes to school for youth and students in our community,” said Anue.
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City Councilor Jamie Cassutt said the American Heart Association helped spearhead the resolution as part of an effort to encourage healthy forms of transportation like walking and biking.
“I think this work is some of the important work that we’re doing in our community,” said Cassutt. “Right now, we don’t have a transportation system. We don’t have the infrastructure that supports that type of mobility, so this work really focuses on how we build the infrastructure for the transportation system that we want and not the transportation system that we have.”
The Metropolitan Planning Organization’s goal is to cut fatalities and serious injuries in half by 2020. All of the projects are federal, state, and locally funded.