NO ROADSIDE SELLING ALLOWED: John Seaver recently emailed, “I am a business owner in Albuquerque and I sell some of the same products that pickup trucks sell on Tramway from Encantado all the way to Paseo del Norte, from corn to firewood. I am an entrepreneur myself, so I get making a buck. I pay so many taxes such as gross receipts, property taxes, and of course federal and state income taxes, not to mention all the insurances I carry to protect employees and property.
“To park a vehicle on the side of the road and sell wood or chile ristras seems like an unfair advantage, and using state highways to do this not only is illegal but is also dangerous – and I might add unfair to the businesses that are legit. Why does the (New Mexico) Department of Transportation allow this on Tramway and other state roads? I see this on N.M. 528 heading up the hill to Rio Rancho. I see trucks right as you enter Corrales on that highway.”
And Wallace Anderson emails “It appears all the selling on Tramway is acceptable and legal. Counted nine vendors on a Sunday while driving from Lomas to Spain. It is illegal, and dangerous and I wonder why we can’t enforce the law against this flea market we have going on in this city. I have addressed this numerous times with city officials and DOT and yet no action or enforcement. Why can’t this be controlled?”
Kimberly Gallegos, spokeswoman for the NMDOT’s District 3 office, says “NMDOT does have a rule in place for no vending in the right of way. Our maintenance patrols stop and talk to vendors when this is being done and actually provide them with a no-vending-in-right-of-way letter, informing them of the rules on state right of way. While we are not law enforcement, we do work closely with them and meet bimonthly to discuss ongoing issues. When we notice “hot spots” of right-of-way vending, NMDOT passes this information along to them. Vendors are given a warning and a copy of the letter. If they are seen again, law enforcement is notified.”
STAY OUT OF THE BIKE LANE: Joanne emails, “I have a question about a road I drive on every day, Constitution, going east, that ends at Indian School. If I’m turning right onto Indian School, do I deviate into the bike lane before I come to the stop, or do I stay in the traffic lane and turn right from there? I notice that the style of turning is pretty split for those who are approaching this stop sign where they have to turn either left or right – some cross over and turn from the bike lane and others, like myself, turn from the traffic lane. They could really use a double right/left arrow painted on the asphalt in the traffic lane and a bike rider symbol in the bike lane. There is a break in the solid white lines for the entry into the store there, but then it turns solid again. I’m confused, as I’m sure others are! I didn’t find any answers on the web. I know that this occurs in other parts of the city.”
Joanne is doing it right.
Rebecca Atkins of the Albuquerque Police Department says “when making a turn at a stop sign where there is a bike lane, drivers should stay in their lane while making the turn. They should not be entering the bike lane. Additionally, as drivers make that turn, they should yield and look out for bicyclists before turning.
“There are also roadways where a bike lane and a turn lane are one in the same; in that instance, bicyclists and motorists should be on the lookout for one another.”
LOMAS MEDIANS ON WISH LIST: Randy Noah called to ask when landscaping is planned for the Lomas medians leading up to Interstate 25.
He says right now there is no landscaping – meaning it’s the usual dirt, rocks, weeds and trash – and the medians are a “huge eyesore.”
Scott Cilke of Albuquerque’s Department of Municipal Development says “the medians on Lomas are on our list of objectives and will be worked on as budgets allow in the future.”
Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; firstname.lastname@example.org; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109.