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Road Warrior wraps up 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s the last Road Warrior column of 2019, and a chance to wrap up as many loose ends as possible when it comes to readers’ traffic questions. Here we go:

WHY DOESN’T UNIVERSITY GO THROUGH?

That comes from Robert Anderson, who asked in an email why the city has allowed University Boulevard to detour around a neighborhood instead of running from Interstate 40 to Mesa del Sol, causing a “transportation bottleneck.”

Johnny Chandler, public information coordinator for Albuquerque’s Department of Municipal Development, says the city “does not have any plans to make University a through street south of Gibson. University dead-ends at the Thomas Bell Community Center and is a residential street that abuts many local residents who have lived in this neighborhood for many decades. The University expansion through Mesa del Sol south of Sunport is in development terms much more recent and is there to accommodate the city’s expansion for the growing film industry and assist with traffic to and from the Isleta Pavilion, Netflix and residents. Expanding University to make it a through street would uproot many residents and eliminate a great park for those who live there.”

And so “motorists can access University south of Sunport by taking Yale south of Gibson, taking a right on Randolph that will then turn into University.”

NO BROADWAY LANE REDUCTION, FOR NOW: After a sewer-line project cut South Broadway to two lanes this fall, resident Frances Armijo emailed that anyone wanting to make it permanent should have idled in the traffic backups and needs to understand “we are not Nob Hill. We don’t have little shops along our streets, nor a lot of walking traffic. We’re a blue-collar neighborhood. (More than) 15,000 vehicles drive through Broadway each day because they have legitimate reasons to use the only boulevard available to reach their destinations. They and we don’t need help making things more difficult to reach those destinations.”

“There have been discussions in the past regarding a road diet on South Broadway, but at this time there are no plans to implement one,” Chandler said.

NO RE-UPPING A MILITARY PLATE: David J. Turner said in an email “after 32 years my Purple Heart license plate is badly deteriorated and hard to read. I need a new plate but would like to keep the same number. Can the plate be replaced using the original number, or will I be required to be issued a totally new plate with a different number?”

Regretfully, a new one.

Charlie Moore, who handles information for the N.M. Taxation and Revenue Department, which oversees the Motor Vehicle Division, says “any custom or specially requested plate numbers fall under what’s considered a vanity or prestige plate. Unfortunately due to vendor capabilities and budgetary constraints, we’re only able to produce a prestige plate for the yellow, turquoise and chile plates. As tough as it feels to say no to a veteran, especially a purple heart recipient, we simply don’t have the capability to fulfill that request.”

SIDEWALK CLEANUP REQUESTED: Russell Bell emailed a nomination for the section “on Wilmoore, south of Ross, east side, for the worst: it’s buried under sand that has crumbled off the businesses on Yale. I don’t even see footprints other than my own in it.”

Chandler says “the city’s Sidewalk Ordinance requires that all property owners be responsible for maintenance, repair and liability of the sidewalk in front and on each side of their property. If the sidewalk is in the rear of the property, it may be the city’s responsibility. By and far the best way to report a sidewalk in need of repair is to call 311 or use the OneABQ app. That department will then transfer you to the Department of Municipal Development Construction Services Division, who will investigate.”

JANUARY FULL OF CAR-SEAT CLINICS: Inspections of the seats and the installation – which ensure your most precious cargo really will be safe in a wreck – are free, courtesy of the New Mexico Department of Transportation and Safer New Mexico Now.

Clinics start Friday in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, Saturday in Roswell, Wednesday in Deming, and continue on subsequent dates in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Roswell, Carlsbad and Farmington.

For a full calendar go to www.safernm.org/calendar/ and click on January. Or call 800-231-6145 for information or to make an appointment.

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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