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Motorist wants pedestrian barrier gone

HITTING THE PEDESTRIAN HAVEN: Michael Coe says in an early April email that “there is a slab of concrete to ‘protect’ pedestrians located on the west side of the intersection of Second and Alameda that impedes traffic.”

Michael says, “You can see it was put in within the last year at a location that many of us run over because it is in the way – (just) see black rubber marks on the side!”

He asks, “Can this be removed and put the pedestrian area somewhere else? I drive this intersection over 100 times a week – I counted! – and have NEVER seen a pedestrian in that area.”

Kimberly Gallegos, who handles information for the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s District 3 office, explains: “The median nose was not reconstructed during (a recent) trail project. However, further back the median was cut to allow for the trail crossing. NMDOT’s Traffic section will look at adding delineators in the area and also run a turning template on the turning movement. Depending on the findings from the turning template, NMDOT may consider reconfiguring the median.”

BACKED UP ON ALAMEDA: But Mike’s not done. He adds a signal “engineer needs to check the lights at 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Alameda and Coors, at the one to the west at Whataburger, and Ellison. The traffic backs up there horribly only due to the light settings. Thereafter, the traffic reduces as it nears Fourth and Second to the rest of the way to Interstate 25. It is a light problem, not the traffic. It takes 20-25 minutes to get to Second on many days.”

Bobby Baker, traffic control administrator for Bernalillo County, says, “The county recently extended the adaptive signal system (which responds to traffic flows in real time) from Coors to Cottonwood, so the timings have changed, but I’ll check it out.”

THE BIG SQUEEZE ON COMANCHE: John emails, “There’s an intersection that I drive through every day, and at least once a week I witness a near-miss there that doesn’t need to happen.

“Driving westbound on Comanche to cross the northbound frontage road for Interstate 25, Comanche’s two lanes become three, adding a left-turn lane. But both of those (pre-intersection) westbound lanes aim directly at the post-intersection middle lane. As you cross the frontage road, the people in the right hand lane mistakenly move to the center lane because it LOOKS like an extension of their lane. When in the left lane that actually is supposed to become the middle lane I’ve had to slam on my brakes and let the mistaken person cut me off many, many times.”

John says, “There’s a simple fix: Just put extending lane markers on Comanche across the frontage road. Until then, it’s just a matter of time before more accidents under I-25.”

Gallegos says, “In looking at the area of concern, on westbound Comanche and the I-25 northbound frontage road intersection, the roadway widens from two lanes to a five-lane section on the approach. There is a dedicated left lane, two through lanes and a dedicated right lane. We will look at adding a lane designation sign at this intersection. Typically, lane extension markers at intersections are only used for left- or right-turn lanes.”

Meanwhile, Chandler says the city is “evaluating installing puppy tracks (dotted lines that guide drivers) to the intersection. We will get a estimate and schedule before a recommendation.”

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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