CAMERA CITATIONS UP LAST MONTH: After a dip to 3,977 Automated Speed Enforcement tickets in February, the number of citations jumped to 5,228 in March.
From when the program began in May through March, 47,236 citations at $100 a pop have been issued. So where has that money gone?
First, 67% of those cited have paid their fines, according to Scott Cilke of Albuquerque’s Department of Municipal Development. That works out to 31,648 offenders. Last month Mayor Tim Keller proposed booting vehicles that had three or more unpaid camera tickets if found parked on city property.
Second, the city website, cabq.gov, says there have been “a total of 1,414 community service hours completed since the program started,” which equals around 353 offenders. Those who get a ticket in the mail can pay it, schedule a hearing or do four hours of community service. Cilke said recently Roadrunner Food Bank has been the favored go-to for those opting to clear a citation by giving back to the community.
If we count community service in the paid column, that leaves us with 31,295 citations paid, for $3.1 million collected.
Third, back in April 2022, Keller emphasized “our goal here is behavior change. We’re not going to gain any points or profit for this program for citing people. That’s not what it’s about. It is about behavior change.” He said then citations would cover the cost of the program and any leftover money would go toward Vision Zero projects — which include things like traffic calming devices. He explained if the program is used to its full capability (and people actually pay their fines), that could mean up to $100,000 annually for the traffic safety initiative.
Hold onto your hats and grab those calculators. According to the city website, so far it has paid vendor NovoaGlobal just over $600K. There’s also the cost of hearing officers and staff, those who review the camera footage and mail the citations, as well as the actual paper citations and postage.
Cilke says “after covering the program’s expenses and providing 50% of post-expense revenue to the state, the program has generated over $500,000 for the Vision Zero program to make additional safety improvements.”
Stay tuned for how the city makes the math work out.
WHERE THE CAMERAS ARE NOW: As for up-to-date speed-camera locations, Cilke says 12 are up and running, on eastbound and westbound Gibson between Carlisle and San Mateo, northbound Unser at Tower, southbound San Mateo near Montgomery, westbound Lomas at Virginia, northbound Unser at Flor del Sol, westbound Central between Tingley and New York, eastbound Coal at Cornell, westbound Lead at Mesa, westbound Montgomery at Jennifer (between Pennsylvania and Wyoming) and eastbound Montgomery at Julie (between Louisiana and Pennsylvania), and 98th at Tower.
WE NEED A CLEANUP ON AISLE PDN: That request comes from JW, who asks in an email “who is responsible for trash clean up on Paseo del Norte on the west side of Interstate 25? Both sides are extremely trashy, and I believe this is a huge embarrassment to Albuquerque, especially those of us who live on the West Side.
“It seems to only get cleaned up around Balloon Fiesta time. I saw crews out (on a recent January) morning cleaning PDN on the east side of I-25. Why does it get frequently cleaned and not the west side?”
Kimberly Gallegos, who handles information for the state Department of Transportation’s District Three Office in Albuquerque, says “maintenance crews have scheduled this area for cleanup about every two to three weeks. Please be assured that crews do clean up both east and west sides of I-25 along PDN.”
But it’s not an easy job. Gallegos explains “with the recent winds and weather, the upkeep has become extremely difficult. There are also no shoulders there and so crews must walk the length of the roadway to pick up trash along the sides. I have passed along the message to our maintenance crews to schedule a day of litter cleanup along this stretch.”
NO WEIGHT LIMIT ON EAST PASEO DEL NORTE: Ruth Friesen asks via email “why are there heavy dirt-hauling trucks on Paseo del Norte when the road is weight-limited? This has been going on for months. They enter Paseo from Eubank, north of Paseo. Some days there are three trucks between Eubank and Interstate 25. Some gigantic hole must (be) being dug there. Whose palm did they grease to be allowed on Paseo, and will the company reimburse the cost of wear and tear on the road?”
Nobody’s and no — the New Mexico Department of Transportation confirms on Paseo “there is no weight limit east of I-25.”
Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; email@example.com; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109.