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City studies safety effects of removing center stripes

NO MIDDLE LINE FOR MORRIS: Vicki McGill emails, “I have noticed that the center striping on Morris Street NE, north of Menaul, is missing and has been missing for a long time. The road was resurfaced a while back, and striping for bicycle lanes, street-side parking and at intersections is there. I have had several near-misses with other vehicles taking their half out of the middle.”

It’s not coming back, at least for the foreseeable future.

Johnny Chandler, public information coordinator for Albuquerque’s Department of Municipal Development, says it “does not have any plans at this time to install a center line on this section of Morris Street. DMD is trying this striping configuration in select locations as a way to slow motor vehicle speeds and create more space for bicyclists.

“The previous section on Morris had narrow bike lanes, and we widened both of those slightly, creating a 19-foot wide two-way driving space. There is enough room for two motorists to pass each other,” because vehicles’ width averages 6.5 feet.

As for other test runs, Chandler says there are similar designs on Candelaria west of Rio Grande and Campus between Monte Vista and Carlisle.

“We are interested in feedback from the community members who use these newly designed roadways that help benefit all modes of transportation. Please call 311 and let us know what you think,” Chandler says.

WHAT’S THE DEAL ON YALE AT LOMAS? That’s from Bruce Hinrichs, who says in an email that “the impact on westbound traffic on Lomas is pretty intense, narrowing Lomas to one lane in that direction. What is going on and how long is this project supposed to last?”

A look at hsc.unm.edu/news/2021/01/tower-closure.html (thanks to an assist from Chandler) reveals this is University Hospital’s New Hospital Tower Phase II, approved by the New Mexico Board of Finance.

Work started Jan. 25, no end date is mentioned, and it “includes construction of the new Patient Parking Structure and various supportive logistical structures.” Yale between Lomas and Camino de Salud is closed, as is the outer westbound lane on Lomas between the UNMH ER entrance and south Yale.

RIGHT LANE REALLY ENDS ON SECOND: Mark Fleisher emails, “On Second Street southbound just south of Griegos, a sign reads ‘Right Lane Ends.’ Only it doesn’t end. A few years ago that sign was accompanied by a sign that read Left Lane Closed. But the street was still navigable.”

What gives?

Chandler says, “When going southbound on Second Street toward Griegos, the right-hand turn land ends at Griegos. There is enough space on the right shoulder just south of Griegos that ends less than a one-fourth mile south of Griegos. That is why the right lane must turn right. Right-hand-turn drivers from Griegos to southbound Second Street could utilize the shoulder to help merge into southbound traffic.

I-25 AT LA BAJADA GETTING FACELIFT IN 2022: Gary E. Cordova says in an email, “The southbound inside lane is very uneven and dangerous in spots – why did recent resurfacing stop just below and above La Bajada?”

According to the project website, “The pavement in this area is exhibiting settlement expressed as a series of dips, sags, and pavement cracking that requires periodic maintenance and repair. The distressed condition is most evident in the southbound lanes of I-25. The purpose of the proposed project is to stabilize the roadway subgrade and fill slopes and improve roadway drainage.”

Jim Murray, public information officer for the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s District 5 office, says, “The La Bajada project is expected to be opened for bids by the end of this year, with construction starting next year.”

More information, including photos of the cracks, is at www.dot.state.nm.us/content/nmdot/en/ProjectsD5.html#5101340.

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, NM 87109.

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