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PNM illuminates what to do when the street lights are out

WHY IS JUAN TABO IN THE DARK?

In an email late last month, Patrick noted “I live up in the Heights and have noticed that none – OK I think there is one – of the street lights on Juan Tabo between Montgomery and Comanche are on when I drive it early in the morning.

“A few weeks ago the lights on the west side close to Montgomery were on for several days, then out again. Any idea what’s going on? Seems strange that all of the lights are not working.”

Meaghan Cavanaugh, who handles information for electric utility PNM, says she “checked the map on PNM.com, and that area is a mix of city- and PNM-owned lights. “We are working with the city of Albuquerque to determine what the cause is, what is needed to fix the lights in that area, and who will be doing the work. Once we have a better idea on this information, we or the city can take action.”

AND ST. FRANCIS, TOO: Meanwhile, Leroy Sanchez called from Santa Fe to report that while PNM is repairing some residential lights in his area, he has no clue who is responsible for the ones on St. Francis that are out.

Leroy shared that 15 or so lights on both the north and south sides of St. Francis from Zia north were dark, as well as by Alamo Drive near Paseo de Peralta.

Cavanaugh says that in the City Different, “no matter who owns the lights, PNM maintains them. So we would need to be the ones to fix them anyway.”

The lights in question turned out to be city-owned, Cavanaugh says, and PNM does “have a work order in our system saying that the underground wires have to either be repaired or replaced, so that work will need to be scheduled. Underground work can take a little longer because we have to obtain any permissions or permits needed to dig, call out line locators to make sure that we don’t dig up any other lines or utilities in that area, secure traffic control if the area is high traffic, etc. There is a lot more involved with this type of work, but we are taking steps to resolve the issue.”

BEST WAY TO REPORT AN OUTAGE: Cavanaugh says the utility “won’t typically know about an outage unless the customer reports it through our website or by calling us.” She adds that the best way to get that information to the right folks is to “report the outage (at) www.pnm.com/streetlights.” It is especially helpful to have “an exact address to pinpoint the light … or at east as specific as they can be.”

HOW MANY BUSES WILL RUN ON CENTRAL? That question has been popping up as the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project gets closer to becoming a reality.

David Heiman says via email “I was recently told (by an ART foe) that when ART is up and running that city buses will be traveling up and down Central Avenue along with the ART buses. As a supporter of the ART concept I told him that I didn’t think that this couldn’t possibly be true. Could you enlighten us on this please?”

Matt Ross, the director of communications for Mayor Tim Keller, says “ART will replace all Rapid Ride routes running on Central, reducing overall buses in the traffic lanes by two thirds east of Downtown and by half west of Downtown.

“The No. 66 route is the only other route that will run on Central. … Think of the ART as an express bus: fewer stops for those going longer distances, and the No. 66 as a local route: frequent stops for those traveling shorter distances.”

The stops will be different as well. While ART will use the center median stations, Ross says “on the No. 66 route most of the stops are in cutouts or turn-only lanes where the impact on traffic flow is minimalized.”

WHAT WOULD MAKE I-40 WORK BETTER? The New Mexico Department of Transportation is focusing on ways to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety on Interstate 40 between Tramway and Atrisco Vista.

And it wants commuters’ help.

NMDOT has posted a five-minute corridor congestion survey at i40abq.com. “The purpose of the study is to explore practical ways to reduce traffic congestion during the morning and evening peak traffic times.”

The survey asks where and when you enter and exit the freeway, as well as where you get your traffic information. As the site explains, that data will “help the NMDOT better understand traffic flow conditions, factors contributing to crashes, and commuter travel patterns.”

Your voice is important to getting the best end result – a new and improved I-40 commute. Take a few minutes and weigh in if you can.

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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