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Paseo del Norte design plan set for public input

GET PASEO REBUILD INFO THIS WEEK: From 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, the project crew in charge of the $93 million Paseo del Norte/Interstate 25 rebuild will “share the final proposed design with public, seek their input and answer questions,” according to a news release.

The meeting, in the Kokopelli Ballroom of the Courtyard Marriott, 5151 Journal Center Blvd. NE, will feature the “preliminary construction phasing and an anticipated completion date for the project and present the final proposed design for six key elements, including:

  • A free-flow ramp to improve eastbound Paseo to southbound I-25 traffic movement during morning peak travel time;
  • A flyover ramp to improve northbound I-25 to westbound Paseo traffic movement during afternoon peak travel time;
  • An overpass at the intersection of Jefferson and Paseo to improve east-west access and local traffic flow;
  • Bicycle and pedestrian improvements to provide a link across I-25 and connect existing paths in the area;
  • Improved freeway access for traffic originating east of the Paseo/I-25 interchange; and
  • I-25 mainline improvements between the Alameda and Jefferson interchanges to improve safety and traffic flow.

The release says the work drivers are seeing now involves “geotechnical drilling, location of underground water, gas and electric lines as well as communications cables, and prepar(ations) to construct a drainage facility outside the main construction area. Actual construction of the project is scheduled to begin after the 2013 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.”

Send written questions and comments for the meeting to the project website,, and sign up for free email or text alerts at the website; call (505) 245-3150 for more information.


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FREE TEEN DRIVER WORKSHOPS, TOO: On Wednesday in Santa Fe and Thursday in Albuquerque, AAA New Mexico will sponsor Dare To Prepare, classes to help get teens and their parents ready for the new drivers to get behind the wheel.

Geared for teens age 14-15, the interactive program will “walk attendees through the steps necessary to obtain a learner’s permit and driver’s license, and offer useful tools, tips and resources to help parents and teens during the learning-to-drive process and beyond,” a news release says.

The Santa Fe class will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the AAA New Mexico Branch, 3517 Zafarano Drive, Suite D; the Albuquerque class will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the AAA New Mexico Branch, 10501 Montgomery.

While free, registration is required. Sign up at, or call (512) 444-4757, ext. 224. Teens must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

FREE PARKING WITH HANDICAPPED PERMIT: Chuck emails a “question about handicap parking in Albuquerque.” He’s “just back from San Diego, went to see the aircraft carrier Midway, but (there was) no handicap parking left, so we parked in (a) metered parking area. About that time, a meter maid came by, and I asked her if there w(as) any other handicap parking. She said no, but to put my handicap placard up and not to put any money in meter. What’s Albuquerque’s policy on handicapped parking in meter(ed) parking?”

The same.

Under state law, parking at government-owned facilities is free with a handicapped placard/plate. The only exception is airports, which under a 2009 revision can charge those patrons for long-term parking.

State statute 3-51-46, “Passenger Motor Vehicle of a person with a disability – parking privilege,” states:

“Passenger motor vehicles owned by and carrying a person with a disability and displaying special registration plates, or passenger motor vehicles carrying persons with severe mobility impairment and displaying parking placards, issued pursuant to Section 66-3-16 NMSA 1978, shall be permitted to park for unlimited periods of time in parking zones restricted as to length of time parking is normally permitted and are exempt from payment of any parking fee of the state or its political subdivisions, except that airport parking facilities may charge long-term parking fees for periods exceeding 24 hours.”

Assistant editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays and West Siders and Rio Ranchoans on Saturdays. Reach her at 823-3858;; P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, N.M. 87103; or go to to read previous columns and join in the conversation.