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Roadside signs an eyesore, safety hazard

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — IT’S THE (CAMPAIGN) SEASON FOR ROADSIDE SIGNS: Metro-area drivers have likely noticed what Wallace Anderson has – and they might even join Wallace in asking, “Why does our city permit signage that blocks our field of vision on our major intersections? Who is responsible for removing the signs, metal poles, rocks and cardboard boxes from our medians? Not only is this a safety hazard, but also litter for all of us to see on our daily commutes through the city of Albuquerque. I have tried for several years to have this addressed to no avail. Is nobody noticing or does our administration just not care?”

In order, it doesn’t, it depends, officials agree and they do.

Melissa Pérez, public information officer for Albuquerque’s Planning Department, guided me to cabq.gov, where there’s a section “What you need to know before you post a sign in Albuquerque.” And it includes this:

“Special Political Signs. Special political signs shall be permitted up to a total area of six square feet on each premises in a residential zone and up to 32 square feet for each sign in a nonresidential zone. Special political signs may be erected no earlier than 60 days prior to the election to which the sign pertains; they shall be removed within 10 days after that election or after the termination of the candidacy, whichever occurs first.”

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As for proper placement/cleanup, “Removal of illegal signs depending on the sign location:

• Illegal signs improperly placed on traffic signals, traffic signs, arroyos/bridges, sidewalks, utility poles and other public right-of-way areas may be removed and disposed of by the Department of Municipal Development.

• Illegal signs located within landscaped and non-landscaped street medians may be removed and disposed of by the Solid Waste Management Department.

• Illegal signs placed in parks, within city limits, may be removed and disposed of by the Parks & Recreation Department.

• The Planning Department’s Code Enforcement Division enforces the illegal placement of signs on private property.”

Perez says to report illegal signs, call 311 or go to the 311 page on the website.

BARREN BEATS DEAD ON TRAMWAY? Linda Mawhorter emails, “There is strip about 300 feet in length between the Tramway bike trail and Tramway, running north starting at Indian School. It has been completely denuded and looks barren. It previously had natural vegetation. Any ideas why that is such a wasteland now?

Because it wasn’t natural, and as a reader pointed out, much of it was dead or close to.

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Back on Aug. 21, I wrote about the New Mexico Department of Transportation removing dead trees along the east side of Tramway between Indian School and Comanche. NMDOT spokeswoman Emilee Cantrell has this update: “Our environmental management crew is removing overgrown and invasive vegetation from this area. There is work being done to establish landscape plans that would, at a minimum, reestablish the native vegetation.”

WHERE ARE THE STREET SIGNS ON CENTRAL? Marksnn emails, “On a recent trip down Central I noted that there were no cross-street names. Not surprising given the number of Downtown street names that are not legible and not lighted at night.”

It’s really just a construction thing, and the signs will be back.

Joanie Griffin of Griffin & Associates, which is handling info on the ART bus project, says, “During construction while we have temporary signals up there aren’t street signs on those temporary light fixtures. Yes, there will be new signs up as the permanent lighting goes up.”

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; dwestphal@abqjournal.com; or P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, N.M. 87103.

 

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