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Lane-changers ignoring those solid white lines

DOES THE WHITE LINE MEAN NOTHING? That question comes from Mark Robinson, who emails, “Does anyone take the lane markings on Coors Boulevard between Irving and Paseo del Norte seriously? I drive through this area every day, and I see people constantly changing lanes through the solid white lines.

“There was a bad accident (Aug. 26) as a result of a car stopped to make an illegal lane change. How many more accidents will I see before I see police actually enforcing the laws? I’ve seen more police make the illegal lane change than I have seen police enforcing the laws.”

The Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices says, “White lines separate lanes for which travel is in the same direction. A double white line indicates that lane changes are prohibited. A single white line indicates that lane changes are discouraged. A dashed white line indicates that lane changes are allowed.”

And the New Mexico Driver Manual, page 8, instructs:

“White lane marking – Multiple lanes of travel in the same direction are separated by white lane markings. A dashed white line between lanes of traffic means that you may cross it to change lanes if it is safe to do so. A solid white line between lanes of traffic means that you should stay in your lane unless a special situation requires you to change lanes” (emphasis added).

And it’s likely therein lies the rub; every driver believes their situation is special enough to warrant a discouraged lane change over a solid white line.

FEDS FUND LOCAL TRAILS: And to the tune of $32.2 million. According to a news release from the state Department of Transportation, a total of 70 projects were submitted for consideration, and 37 covering the alphabet from Bernalillo to Valencia counties received funding. When you add in the local match and in-kind services, it’s a $41 million investment in our recreational trails.

In the metro area, the projects include $8.6 million for a Rail Runner Express operating assistance project from Valencia to Santa Fe counties, $1.65 million for the Tramway Trail overpass, and $221,497 for Sandia Trail improvements in the Cibola National Forest.

ROUNDABOUT IN FINAL PHASE: The last work on the controversial Rio Grande/Candelaria roundabout began Sunday and is projected “to be substantially completed” in around 14 days. Crews will be working 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday, including Labor Day.

During this phase, according to a news release from Patti Watson, who is handling info on the project:

• The Rio Grande/Candelaria intersection will be completely closed for a week to 10 days so crews can construct the roundabout in the center.

• Headingly Avenue will be closed at Rio Grande to discourage cut-through traffic.

Northbound traffic is instructed to head east on Indian School, then north on 12th Street, then west on Griegos to Rio Grande. Southbound traffic to head east on Griegos, south on 12th Street, then west on Indian School to Rio Grande. Westbound traffic to head north or south on 12th Street, then west on Griegos or on Indian School Road to Rio Grande. Eastbound traffic to head south on Glenwood and east on Campbell to Rio Grande.

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; dwestphal@abqjournal.com; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, N.M., 87109.

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