SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – If you’re planning on driving anywhere near the New Mexico State Capitol anytime soon, take an alternate route. State police are blocking off a number of intersections near the Roundhouse starting today and could be staying up through the end of the legislative session.
With reports of protests planned in all 50 states in the days leading to President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, New Mexico State Police are busy putting safeguards all around the capitol building. The areas around many of Santa Fe’s government buildings, like the Supreme Court and Roundhouse, will be closed to the public starting Saturday.
Concrete barriers and multiple layers of new fencing surround the buildings in the area and there will be a heavy police presence. Officers with New Mexico State Police, Santa Fe Police, Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office deputies, and members of the New Mexico National Guard will staff these positions. The only people allowed in will be legislative staff, residents, and business owners and you will need ID to get through.
Nine intersections will also be closed from 8 in the morning to midnight, daily. This is expected to last until March after the 60-day legislative session is over. These intersections include:
- Paseo de Peralta at Old Santa Fe Trail
- Paseo de Peralta at Don Gaspar Avenue
- Paseo de Peralta at Webber
- Manhattan Street at Galisteo Street
- Gallisteo Street at Cerrillos Road
- Cerrillos Road at W. DeVargas
- W. Alameda Street at Don Gaspar Avenue
- E. DeVargas and South Capitol
- E. DeVargas and Old Santa Fe Trail
KRQE News 13 caught up with one Los Lunas woman who came up to pray outside the Roundhouse ahead of the legislative session. She says while she’s not surprised by the police presence, she’s not surprised by the barriers and thinks taxpayers should still have access.
“I’ll probably be coming up every Saturday because I have weekends off and praying the whole 60-day session,” said Kenna Storey. “If you’re healthy and you’re not putting anyone else in danger, you should be able to have access to that building. This is just as unconstitutional as them breaching the White House last week.”
This heightened security come just days ahead of the presidential inauguration on Wednesday. Following the deadly U.S. Capitol attack, there have been multiple reports of armed protests planned at the capitol buildings of all 50 states, starting today and going through Wednesday. So far today, things remained pretty quiet with no visible protests in Santa Fe.
The director of the Legislative Council Service tells us that the Capitol complex will be closed Sunday. They say it’s as a safety precaution because of the planned nationwide protests.
We’ve also reached out to New Mexico State Police to find out how they’re enforcing foot traffic and what people can expect from the police presence if there are protests, but have not yet heard back.