WHO’S WATCHING ME? That question comes from Dan Klein, who emails, “I am hoping you can answer this question that my wife and I have. It seems every new intersection in Albuquerque has two cameras, a white one and a black one.”
Dan included photos “taken at the new stoplights by Unser and McMahon. These are not red-light cameras – Albuquerque got rid of them – but do you know what they are used for? Is this part of a live stream to watch traffic?
Johnny Chandler, public information coordinator for the Albuquerque’s Department of Municipal Development, says the white camera is a “vehicle detection camera that is used to detect the presence of vehicles at the local signalized intersection. When the camera detects the presence of a vehicle, it will send a call to the control equipment requesting service.”
In other words, the camera sees you and tells the signal someone is waiting for a green.
“The control equipment will provide the movement with a green indication when it is time within the cycle for it to be served,” Chandler explains. “The movement will receive a minimum green time interval and extend as needed up to its maximum green time interval depending on detected vehicle presence.”
Meanwhile, the black camera is an “emergency vehicle pre-emption device that is used by the Albuquerque Fire Department when responding to emergency calls,” Chandler says. “This device will allow the emergency vehicle to pre-empt the traffic signal. During this time the movement that has a green indication will terminate the green and will receive a yellow indication, followed by a red indication, prior to the emergency vehicle receiving its green indication.”
LOSING A LANE ON PASEO? Wayne Morris emails that at southbound Interstate 25 to eastbound Paseo del Norte “there are two left-turn lanes onto Paseo and two straight through lanes for frontage road traffic. Lines to mark lanes thru the intersection are dashed white lines, which means motorist can change lanes.
“This results in motorist in the thru lane to turn left only to find out they have no lane on Paseo available to them,” Wayne says. “They are facing a concrete wall, and it’s too late to continue on the frontage road. So they crowd in, a dangerous situation especially if the driver is aggressive.”
Wayne says switching to “solid white lane lines, which means stay in your lane, would help keep motorists from attempting an illegal left turn. (So would adding) diagonal parallel lines in the no-go zone.”
And while Wayne is right, driver’s ed taught us it was OK to cross dotted lane lines, on turn movements those dashes are called “puppy tracks” and are there to guide drivers through a turn and ensure they maintain their lane.
Kimberly Gallegos, who handles information for NMDOT’s District Three, says “about a month go the NMDOT District Three traffic section re-striped this intersection with double lane extension lines for both left-turn lanes and also the through lanes. There are also pavement markings with arrows approaching the intersection along with overhead signage (to guide drivers either into the turn or straight through the interchange).
“NMDOT is required to complete all striping projects with approved specifications,” Gallegos says, “which this intersection is in compliance with.”
I-25 SECTION CLOSED OVERNIGHT: The ongoing work widening the interstate between San Antonio and Jefferson continues with overnight closures continuing tonight through April 11.
NMDOT says in a news release that the northbound and southbound lanes will be closed from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. those days at the San Mateo exit as crews place bridge girders. The section was also closed overnight April 5-6.
BRIDGE BOULEVARD GETTING MAKE-OVER: Bernalillo County is hosting a public meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the South Valley Multipurpose Senior Center, 2008 Larrazolo SW to “discuss and learn more about Phase 2 of the proposed reconstruction of the Bridge Boulevard Corridor, from Young Avenue to the Riverside Drain.”
A county news release says “proposed improvements to the Bridge Corridor include paving, construction of raised landscaped medians, sidewalks, pedestrian crosswalks, buffered bike lanes, lighting, and storm drain improvements.”
There will be a question-and-answer period after the presentation.
NO COMFORT IN THE NO-SIGNAL CONSTANCY: Finally, Chuck L. emailsm, “I didn’t realize there were so many cars sold in ABQ with optional ‘NO TURN SIGNALS’ ”
Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; firstname.lastname@example.org; or P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, N.M. 87103.