‘Road diets’ suggested in Albuquerque traffic safety plan

Car crashes are way up around Albuquerque this decade. Now there’s a move to bring that number down, and it could mean major changes on some of the city’s busiest streets.

There are obvious recommendations in the Regional Transortation Safety Action Plan, like more traffic enforcement. However, it also brings up two words drivers hate to hear: road diet.

The report from the Mid-Region Council of Governments, which helps local governments with planning, shows a spike in the number of crashes across Albuquerque in recent years.

It’s based on federal research that shows the city’s hotspots for serious crashes, highlighting streets like Coors, Montgomery, Menaul, Lomas, Central, San Mateo, Louisiana and Wyoming.

The plan suggests road diets as one way to help reduce the number of serious crashes.

“[To] slow down traffic a bit but also help to reduce crashes,” MRCOG Senior Transportation Director Caerllion Thomas said.

That’s done by narrowing or reducing the number of lanes, like drivers have seen on Central, Lead and Coal and Zuni.

“The reason we recommend a road diet is because that’s a fairly easy, cost-effective way to make a change,” Thomas added.

That can be done with re-striping, or in some cases a major overhaul.

The report also says law enforcement needs to crack down on speeders and people who text while driving.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had quite a few accidents here in the city and quite a few fatalities so our motorist guys can’t hit traffic enforcement as much as we’d like because we’re doing these investigations,” APD Officer Simon Drobik said. “Us, Bernalillo County, State PD we all have a prerogative to issue citations for texting and driving.”

The MRCOG will then work with the city to come up with a road project plan.

Look at the plan here >> 

Comments can be sent to Caeri Thomas cthomas@mrcog-nm.gov by July 27.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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