Car crashes into new traffic arms in downtown Albuquerque

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The city just paid for new traffic arms to close off Central Avenue on the weekends. Now, one of them is damaged.

Albuquerque police say there are some encouraging signs after new safety efforts on Central, especially during weekend nights. 

But this apparent traffic crash is going to cost the city, and whoever is responsible for the damage might have gotten away with it.

“As far as I know, a vehicle did hit. We don’t have any of the information on the driver of that vehicle. That driver wasn’t located and was able to leave downtown,” said APD Deputy Chief Josh Brown. 

Brown says police do have a robust presence downtown every weekend. They close off Central to drivers during late night hours on the weekends.

They also now have nearly 500 cameras connected to the Real Time Crime Center, and the TEAM program – a program that lets businesses pay for police overtime. That program resulted in 68 traffic citations and one DWI arrest on Sunday night.

Police say they are fighting perceptions as much as crime.

“Some of the stuff I’ve seen is reductions in most property crimes across the board. Our violent crime in downtown has gone down. We are still up in aggravated assault and battery which we are across the city,” said Brown. “Making sure that people feel safe when they go down there because perception is reality.”

Having barricades is not new, they used to be operated by an outside contractor. But, citing cost-effectiveness, the city paid $90,000 for four barricades.

There’s no word on how much the fix is going to cost for the broken barricade. 

Roads downtown will be closed again this Friday for the monthly downtown art walk.