Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal
Visitors to the River of Lights display at the Botanic Garden will not be able to cross at the Tingley and Central intersection, where a 7-year-old was killed last year by a vehicle that sped through a red light.
The boy, along with his father who was injured, and other members of the family had just left the River of Lights when the crash occurred.
This year, barriers will prevent people from crossing at the intersection, said Julie Miller Rugg, executive director of the New Mexico BioPark Society, which organizes the display as a fundraiser for the ABQ BioPark. Instead, pedestrians will have to use the bicycle/pedestrian path beneath the Central bridge, which will be lit and monitored by security personnel, she said.
While there is seldom enough parking at the Botanic Garden for the River of Lights, there is ample space available at the BioPark Zoo, where a free park-and-ride shuttle service will move visitors between the zoo and the Botanic Garden. The last bus will return to the zoo at 10 p.m., Miller Rugg said Monday.
In addition, Albuquerque Rapid Transit buses will provide free transportation to and from the event, with buses arriving at the ART station adjacent to the Botanic Garden every 8-15 minutes, she said. The last ART bus will depart from the River of Lights at 9:30 p.m., and all ART buses will have onboard security personnel, she said.
There will also be some parking at Tingley Beach, south of the Botanic Garden, but only on evenings when Santa’s Magical Experience is not held. Ticket holders to Santa’s Magical Experience, also organized by the BioPark Society, are given priority parking on event evenings, and provided open-air shuttle service between Tingley and the River of Lights, Miller Rugg said.
Santa’s Magical Experience, now sold out, will be held Dec. 2-4; 6-11; 13-18; and 20-23.
The River of lights continues through Dec. 30. It will be closed on Dec. 24 and 25.
To purchase timed tickets, and for further information about the River of Lights, go to riveroflights.org.