IS RAINBOW/NORTHERN A WRECK WAITING TO HAPPEN? David H. Cooper emails a resounding “yes.” He says “Rainbow and Northern is seeing more and more accidents each week. (It’s a) two-way stop (with) no speed enforcement.Â … Northern speeding (is) common.Â Our neighborhoods would like a resolution.”
Rio Rancho Police Department Lt. Jacquelynn Reedy looked into this and found there were four crashes at Rainbow and Northern in 2020, six in 2021 and four last year.
(A further breakdown shows the 2020 wrecks did not involve any injuries; in 2021, two of the crashes involved four injuries; and in 2022 one crash involved one injury. So that’s 14 wrecks with five injuries over the past three years.)
AND RIO RANCHO CRACKS DOWN ON SPEEDERS: Regarding speed enforcement, Reedy says “the Rio Rancho Police Department conducts both routine and saturated patrols to reduce speeds and prevent crashes on city roadways. Additionally, the city of Rio Rancho has stationary speed vans, which are utilized to reduce speeds and cite violators.”
Rio Rancho’s website, rrnm.gov, says the “eight unmanned mobile speed monitoring units – sport utility vehicles – (are located) based on citizen input, police department data that shows high speeding and collision areas, construction zones and school-zone needs. Units may be moved to different locations in the city several times per day. Speed violations ($100 civil citations) begin 11 mph above the posted speed limit, except for school zones where violations begin at 5 mph above the posted speed limit.”
Reedy adds “motorist safety is a high priorityÂ of the Rio Rancho Police Department, and we encourage citizens to bring awareness to areas of concern which will be addressed to increase public safety.”
To report a traffic concern, go to the city website and type in “Report Rio Rancho” to submit a service request.Â The police department’s non-emergency number is 505-891-7226.
SLOW DOWN, LA BAJADA SPEEDERS: Gary E. Cordova suggests via email the state add “construction site double-fine zone signs at La Bajada that may slow traffic. I drive it several times a week, and most drivers exceed the (non-construction) 65 and 55 mph sign limits.
“I saw one of these signs for northbound traffic partially blocked, but not for southbound traffic.”
Jim Murray is public information officer for the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s District 5 Office, which is overseeing the almost $40 million rebuild of Interstate 25 up La Bajada just south of Santa Fe. Murray says the work zone “already is double fines. I’ll get hold of the project manager and ask them to make sure the signs are still out there and visible.”
Meanwhile, shoring up and rebuilding the highway continues; Murray says “the contractor is still drilling and stabilizing the southbound side of the roadway and won’t be done with that until the spring.” The project is scheduled to last through November 2024.
PLAUDITS FOR THE COUNTY PLOWS: After last week’s column included an East Mountain resident critical of Bernalillo County snowplow efforts, Tijeras resident Ken S. had to weigh in.
“On the subject of snowplowing and road maintenance in the region south of Tijeras: We have lived in a subdivision 10 miles south of Tijeras since 1994. During that time, I must say it has been our experience that Bernalillo County has done a superb job with snowplowing, as well as road maintenance and improvements – paving, pothole repair, surface upgrades, signage, etc. We frequently talk about how lucky we are to have such a high level of reliability and service from the county. Whoever is responsible for this over the last two decades deserves to be acknowledged, and they certainly have our sincere thanks.”
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.