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Golf Course/Westside may get turn arrows

WESTSIDE MIGHT GET TURN ARROWS: Drivers who traverse Westside at Golf Course have been asking for them since the road that essentially divides Albuquerque and Rio Rancho opened.

Recently Dawn emailed “why isn’t there a (protected) green-arrow turn signal at the intersection of Westside and Golf Course? I have seen too many close calls. This should have been installed a long time ago.”

Melanie Martinez, program manager and public information officer for Albuquerque’s Department of Municipal Development, says “at this time the city of Albuquerque and the city of Rio Rancho are coordinating on the preliminary design of roadway improvements for Westside Boulevard. As part of the design, the required number of turn lanes and through lanes, as well as protected vs. permissive turn signal(s), will be evaluated at the location in question.

WHICH SPEED LIMIT IS RIGHT? Drivers have likely seen those “your speed is” mobile display signs around town, placed by law enforcement to try to make drivers more aware of how fast they are going and what the speed limit is.

But what happens when the mphs conflict?

Recently Rose Urban called to point out that on Osuna between Edith and Vista del Norte, the permanent signs say 45 mph, with it 25 mph before and after school, but a mobile “your speed is” trailer said 25 mph all the time.

The city had fielded similar concerns.

Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Tanner Tixier says “we can definitely see the confusion. The trailer was put out there at the request of the school and the school resource officer. It is meant to show people that it’s a 25 mph zone before and after school. We will work on adjusting that to avoid further confusion.”

SCARED TO GET ON I-40 AT SIXTH: That describes Gary Blea.

He emails the entrance ramp to eastbound Interstate 40 at Sixth makes it “way too scary and very unsafe to use the freeway at that point. What happens is you get on the on-ramp going eastbound trying to merge to your left lane to go east while drivers are already in the (two right) lane(s) to go south.”

He asks “what is being done to correct this huge problem? … There has been construction all around the freeway but not at this point, the most dangerous area left to work on.”

And none is planned.

Bernadette Bell, public relations officer for the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s District Three office, says “NMDOT does not have any projects to reconstruct the ramp or lane configuration in this area nor have we had any prior concerns about it. The typical weaving pattern here is complicated due to the high volume of traffic in the corridor. These type(s) of issues caused by the high traffic demand are encountered at various locations throughout the metropolitan area.”

And she recommends “an alternate route for those encountering difficulty with traversing this weave could (be) the frontage road, which allows eastbound access to I-40 just east of the I 25 interchange.”

CAN WE ADD ‘RIGHT’ TO THE NO-TURN SIGN? That comes from Tom Leith, who says on the I-40 exit ramps “it seems apparent that they put the one-size-fits-all sign (No Turn on Red) up because it is cheaper. I drive through the Carlisle intersection northbound every morning, and while many drivers are getting the message, many are still inching halfway into my lane to see around the bridge structure in order to make a right turn on red. Usually I am on a motorcycle, and it is a little unnerving. … Once in a while I go down to Rio Grande, and it is worse. I am tired of drivers honking at me to turn as I watch two to three cars blow through the turn without even stopping because there are two right-turn lanes.”

Tom says “please urge DOT to add the word ‘right’ to all signs exiting I-40.”

Done, and not going to happen. Bell says “per our traffic engineer, NMDOT follows the federal guidelines (of the) Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which identifies the standard signs to be used on the roadways.” Meanwhile, a check of the I-40 ramp to Carlisle shows there are several signs, including a “No Right Turn on Red” on the ramp as well as the several without ‘right’ at the intersection.

WHAT TECHNOLOGY HELPS YOUR COMMUTE? So do you use an in-vehicle GPS, a mobile app or text alerts to get around? Or do you rely on radio, television and message boards? And what emerging transportation technology is No. 1 on your wish list?

Please let me know for an upcoming discussion with transportation experts – they value Journal readers’ opinions.

Reach Assistant editorial page editor D’Val Westphal at 823-3858;; or P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, NM 87103.