Neighbors dispute over North Valley roundabout
Posted at: 09/25/2012 4:21 PM
| Updated at: 09/25/2012 5:23 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, Eyewitness News 4
It's neighbor against neighbor in a dispute over a road project in Albuquerque's North Valley.
Demonstrators were out bright and early Tuesday morning at the intersection of Rio Grande Boulevard and Candelaria Road NW, letting morning commuters know why they oppose the city's plan to build a $1.5 million traffic roundabout in the intersection. Just about everybody agrees there's too much traffic, going too fast, causing too many accidents. But many said a roundabout is the wrong way to go.
"Semi trucks, hay trucks, will have a very difficult time," said J.T. Michelson, who has lived in the area for 40 years. "Emergency vehicles will be backed up and everybody stopped. In addition, the tractors that go up the boulevard to take care of the fields would have a very difficult time in a roundabout."
"They haven't tried putting new lights in," said his neighbor, Al Koston. "Take these old ones down, put new ones in that have turn arrows on them and that would help quite a bit."
But other neighbors are convinced the roundabout is the best solution.
"I've lived here for over 40 years," said Susan Johnson. "I've seen people killed at this intersection.. Seven years ago my daughter was hit by a car crossing this street on a green light."
The Federal Highway Administration said roundabouts can decrease fatal and serious injury accidents by as much as 78 percent and overall accidents by 48 percent.
The city is delaying a final decision until a public meeting Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center on 12th Street NW.