THE MLK OFFRAMP IS GONE: Drivers need to be alert for the new traffic pattern that starts Monday around Interstate 25 and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Work starts Monday to remove the northbound MLK offramp. N.M. Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kimberly Gallegos says the northbound I-25 MLK exit will be closed and “northbound traffic will access MLK by exiting at the Lead/Coal offramp and proceeding north on Oak Street to MLK – this will be the permanent configuration.”
MLK access for southbound traffic on I-25 will not be affected. The northbound ramp is being removed to make improvements to the west half of Oak Street between Central and MLK.
Dick Rowles with Star Paving says after Labor Day, crews will be “reducing northbound I-25 to two lanes at MLK.” That work is “to be completed before Balloon Fiesta.”
YOUR TITLE’S IN A DIFFERENT ENVELOPE: The Motor Vehicle Division sent out a news release last week that “because of a nationwide paper shortage, MVD has been unable to obtain its usual envelope stock. The Department of Workforce Solutions has stepped up to provide some of its preprinted envelopes for use by MVD.”
Charlie Moore, spokesman for MVD’s parent agency, Taxation and Revenue, explains that means your title, registration and other MVD correspondence will come in an envelope from the Department of Workforce Solutions, but there will be a bulk postage stamp with “MVD Mail,” as shown in the photo.
A new shipment of envelopes isn’t expected until this fall, Moore says, so MVD will continue to use Workforce Solutions envelopes until then.
AND MVD DOES SO HAVE PLASTIC PLACARDS: After last week’s column included an update that MVD had obtained more of the heat-resistant plastic stock it uses for handicapped placards, a few readers reported they were told that wasn’t so.
Betty called to say she was told by her state MVD office to renew her paper parking permit and she is on a wait list for a plastic one, and Tina emailed “FYI, the information they gave you was not accurate. I just waited on the hour-long hold to get in and they just emailed me another piece of paper as a placard and said that they still don’t have enough and that the next shipment will come in like October.”
Moore says MVD does in fact “have adequate stock of the permanent placards to serve customers as they renew and replace. Unfortunately, that was not communicated properly to this particular customer. We apologize for that and will ensure staff members are aware. In (Tina’s) case, a plastic placard is being mailed out to the customer, but because it expires in 6 months, it is considered ‘temporary.'”
If you still use a paper parking placard, Moore says you “need to request a replacement/renewal to get the permanent placard again. Customers can renew/replace their placards online at mvdonline.com.”
ABOUT THAT LONG PHONE WAIT: As for Tina’s hour on hold, Moore says “call center times are not where we want them to be. Some of that is our staffing level. There also is a technical issue right now. Although they are different numbers, the MVD call center shares lines with the tax call center, and volumes there are still very high … because of the rebate program. At times, that can lead to a busy signal.”
Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; firstname.lastname@example.org.