ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Anyone who does their holiday shopping around Uptown this time of year knows the traffic can get pretty hectic. Now, a city councilor has a plan to help traffic flow, specifically on a stretch of Louisiana Blvd. Councilor Diane Gibson is hoping people can avoid the long wait times at busy intersections by giving drivers the green light for a longer period of time along Louisiana.
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“It’s insane. You know, just sitting at that light for so long,” said one driver.
It’s a river of tail lights as drivers wait to turn from Louisiana into Uptown or Coronado Center. “Sometimes it feels like three to five minutes maybe, if not longer,” Priscilla Juarez of Albuquerque estimated her wait time to be.
“For 10 to 15 minutes at a time, for sure,” another driver added.
Some people admit they avoid Louisiana altogether for that reason. “I took the back streets. Again, didn’t take any of the major roads. I cut through America’s Parkway and kind of stayed off Louisiana,” Juarez stated.
To help, Councilor Gibson is proposing the city extend the timing of green lights on the busy boulevard between Central and Menaul when there’s high traffic volume, like during these peak shopping periods.
“Last weekend, we were trying to get into Uptown and that was pretty congested, especially turning to go eastbound on Indian School because of the Target traffic and the Uptown traffic,” Juarez said.
The proposal also includes traffic queues at eastern entrances of the State Fairgrounds for special events. The so-called Intelligent Transportation System Traffic Signal Project comes with a price tag of $1.75 million in federal and city money. The resolution states the addition of $600,000 from federal COVID funds could help the project roll forward, with a goal of starting construction in the New Year.
City council is set to vote on the resolution Monday night. Councilor Gibson is hoping the new system can be finished sometime in 2022.