Residents take safety concerns about Lead and Coal to city council | KOB 4

Residents take safety concerns about Lead and Coal to city council

Brittany Costello
October 07, 2019 10:51 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Residents who live along two busy Albuquerque streets took their frustrations over safety to a Monday city council meeting.


Lead and Coal are two one-way streets spanning from downtown through Nob Hill. Residents living along that stretch—particularly from Washington to Yale—said the speeding, the crashes and the terrible injuries are putting people's lives at risk.

"We want them, as of yesterday, to be teaming with the mayor to work on this," said Joseph Aguirre, with the University Heights Association.

"We have a critical traffic safety situation," he added.

After a yearlong task force worked with city officials on this very issue, neighbors want solutions.

"As a pedestrian sometimes it's scary to even walk across the street to go to the grocery store," said Jennifer Simpson, who lives in the area.

As it turns out, city leaders have heard them and there is a new plan to help.

A letter and report from the city went out to neighborhoods Friday. City officials handed out a new report to those residents Monday at the meeting, reaffirming the problem.

It identifies 528 crashes in that area over four years from 2014 to 2017. It is broken down by that factors that caused them:

172 - Driver inattention

73 - Failure to yield

66 - Failure to obey traffic signal

39 - Made improper turn

28 - Excessive speed

26 - Following too closely

24 - Intoxicated driver

24 - Passed stop sign

"We changed the green times on Lead and Coal," said Johnny Chandler, the Public Information Officer with the Department of Municipal Development. "If you go 30 mph on Lead and Coal you will get every green light.”

The city made that change April 2019. It needs to be studied to see if it's making a difference, then the city will gather more crash data.

Officials could also consider lowering the speed from 30 to 25 miles an hour, or ultimately they could look into rumble strips or other road changes.

"We're not done and that's what's key," said Chandler. "They ask for solutions, we're working on solutions, Mayor Keller asked us for solutions and we'll continue to do that."

But it still may not solve the immediate danger neighbors said they're experiencing every day.

At the end of September, the city, through the New Mexico Department of Transportation, asked for a federal safety audit of that stretch of Lead and Coal by the Federal Highway Administration.


Brittany Costello

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