Parents, students concerned with number of crashes at Albuquerque intersection

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There’s been more than two dozen crashes at one Albuquerque intersection since November, but the New Mexico Department of Transportation said all of its federal guidelines to ensure the intersection is safe are in place.

It’s the intersection at the I-25 Frontage and Mountain Road. According to Albuquerque Police, since Nov. 5, there have been 14 crashes at the intersection, including eight with reported injuries.

Another problem: Albuquerque High School and the Career Enrichment Center sit just west of the I-25 Frontage road, meaning students are always in the area.

“We have seen complete roll-overs. We have seen cars completely smashed in,” Julie Tyrrell said.

Tyrrell has two sons who attend school at CEC. One of them just started driving. She said she’s not surprised at the number of crashes.

“It’s the most terrible intersection ever,” Tyrrell said. “For a young driver in this area, as a mom, you basically have to tell them even though the light is green, don’t keep going forward until you know all the cars have stopped.”

Tyrrell is referring to the cars heading south on the frontage road as they approach Mountain. Students who spoke to KRQE News 13 also know how common the crashes occur.

“It’s pretty dangerous,” Antonio Vegas said. “People come speeding through there, no one slows down. In the morning, me and my sister see plenty of accidents down here. There’s probably at least one accident a week.”

“There have been times when we can hear them,” Selene Rodriguez said. “Everyone can hear one car crash into another one and it’s pretty intense.”

NMDOT said it has received a few phone calls from people expressing their concerns regarding the same intersection. One of those people was a principal at one of the two high schools.

“When they did that we went ahead and did a site visit,” Bernadette Bell said.

That was back in October. Bell said that a review showed all the traffic control devices in place at the intersection should make for a safe one.

“They looked at site distance, traffic, congestion during various times of the day,” Bell said. “If you’re on a frontage road, that suggests you should decrease your speed. In this case it’s 40 mph.”

Bell said over the years DOT has installed several warning signals to ensure drivers know they’re approaching a stop light. There are two posted speed limit signs, “signal ahead” warnings written on the road, along with a flashing signal that warns drivers they’re approaching a red light.

Bell said she couldn’t comment on the 14 crashes.

“I think one accident is too many,” Bells said. “When we build our roadways we build them for safety. It would be irresponsible for me to say what could have occurred. Was it structure of driver behavior?”

Parents still think the intersection deserves one more look.

“I tell my son all I need is a quick, ‘Hello. I got here.’ Just to make sure that I know he’s gotten there safe,” Tyrrell said.

DOT said as of right now there are no plans to re-visit the intersection.

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