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Long wait for improvements to I-25 exit

CESAR CHÁVEZ INTERCHANGE UPGRADE: Christina asks, “Are there any plans to redo the Interstate 25/Cesar Chávez exit in the near or even far future? The exit is an eyesore.

“As the entry to most sporting events in Albuquerque and a through way for those heading to/from the Sunport, one would think the city/state would want a more pleasing exit/roadway there.”

One would. And one does. But it’s more far future than near.

Emilee Cantrell, who handles info for the New Mexico Department of Transportation, says, “A study was recently completed for the south I-25 corridor from Broadway to the Big-I, which included the area of the Cesar Chávez interchange. Of three options a preferred alternative was selected with concepts for the roadway and interchanges.”

That said, “The corridor will likely be completed through multiple projects, so NMDOT is working on determining practical project sizes and prioritizing those projects to best limit impacts but still be constructed within budget allocations.

“We anticipate work to start on this corridor around 2022 or 2023.”

ABOUT RIGHT TURNS AND BIKE LANES: Several readers have questioned a recent column that included a crossing guard’s advice that drivers should not make right turns from bike lanes.

Stephen emails that, in fact, Albuquerque city ordinance 8-3-3-12 Motorist Turning Across Bicycle Lane says:

“(A) Whenever a motorist is turning across a bicycle lane or path, such motorist shall maintain a proper lookout for bicyclists and shall yield the right-of-way to any bicyclist traveling in a bicycle lane or path and, prior to turning right, shall merge, if practicable, into the bicycle lane to his right, if any, before the start of the turning movement.”

I could not find a state statute that speaks to this, and so I turned to local attorney and bicyclist Diane Albert.

She says, “A bike lane should be considered as equivalent to a car lane, so motorists should signal, look carefully when changing lanes, to drive across or in a bike lane as in a car lane.

“The law states that bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities that motorists have, so treating a bike lane like just another lane on the road makes sense, and I think that’s why there are no written (state) laws on this specific topic.”

IN DEFENSE OF A CROSSING GUARD: Last week a driver said her neighborhood crossing guard was hard to spot and usually leaning on the street sign. This week another reader emails, “Concerning the crossing guards at Morris/Comanche: I am an Albuquerque Public Schools bus driver and go through that intersection four times a day to Mitchell Elementary School, and I have never seen the gentleman guard be anything but attentive to traffic, and especially to children.

“Although I do not know who he is, I do feel like he was maligned by the writer, and, after seeing others crossing guards throughout the city, give him kudos for a job well done.”

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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