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ART updates: Signals, signage and rumble strips

REMEMBER, ART ISN’T DONE YET: Chris Jacobsen has some logistical concerns about the ongoing Albuquerque Rapid Transit project.

First, “why isn’t there a right-turn arrow at Carlisle for westbound traffic on Central? There is a right-turn lane there, but the only lane direction sign posted is for straight ahead or right turn, messaging that vehicles in that signed lane can make a right turn there – but they can’t. There is plenty of room on the arm of the signal structure for an additional sign.”

Second, “why aren’t the traffic signals set so that half-left turns onto Monte Vista from Central at Girard (are) timed – as they used to be – with Monte Vista traffic making a half-right turn onto Central? Seems like we are causing unnecessary delays on traffic flow at this intersection by not coordinating the lights for half-turns at this intersection.”

Third, “why can’t the left-turn arrows at intersections on Central have a blinking yellow option to facilitate better flow until the ART buses are finally running? Many of these arrows have very short green times causing backups at several intersections when only two or three vehicles can make the turns on each green cycle.”

And fourth, “why are some of the ‘rumble strips’ on ART bus lanes painted with double yellow lines and others painted with double white lines?”

Joanie Griffin, who is handling information on the project, “talked with the construction team” and says regarding concerns “on signals and striping, all that is being addressed as we finish construction.”

The final signals, signage and rumble strips have not all been installed yet, and in fact “we’re still placing concrete.”

(As a side note, without knowing the locations being referred to, the state driver’s manual notes that solid white lines separate traffic in the same direction and solid yellow lines separate traffic in opposite directions. Drivers are not supposed to cross solid lines “unless a special situation requires you to change.”)

As for adding yellow-flashing signals in the interim, Griffin says the delay in launching the system was unforeseen but should not last that much longer. Right now the plan is that “construction will be complete this spring.”

SUFFIXES MATTER ON REAL ID: John Rogers emails that some of his documents have the suffix III, others don’t. So does that matter when getting a Real ID?

Yes, somewhat.

Ben Cloutier, who handles information for the state Taxation and Revenue Department, which oversees the Motor Vehicle Division, explains, “Roman numeral suffixes in a name are treated like all other suffixes – i.e. Jr., Sr., Esq. Both the Identity and Identity number document must contain the suffix for it to be used on the credential.”

As in these documents must match and all have the suffix – or not. That means your government birth certificate or valid passport must match your Social Security card or W-2 or 1099.

But Cloutier says it should not matter if your residency documents differ from your ID and ID number documents by having/not having the suffix.

GOOD NEWS ON RENEWING: And for those who are wondering how things will go when they go to renew their Real ID driver’s license, Anna Mae Geis has this to share about her visit to the state Motor Vehicle Division office at Juan Tabo and Menaul:

“I walked in at 10:08 a.m. … I was out at 10:24.”

Anna Mae says she took none of the paperwork that was required when she got her first Real ID license last year, her number was called for service minutes after she took it and sat down, and things went smoothly like any regular license renewal in previous years – no requests for birth certificates or passports, etc.

And while many drivers have shared their horror stories in getting an ID, she wanted to pass along her impression that a year-plus after the system began, “You know what? Things are improving.”

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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