City officials discuss adding more speed cameras across Albuquerque

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Lead and Coal corridor in Albuquerque is a hotspot for speeding and crashes. What’s worse is that a lot of homes are just inches away from that potential danger. 

The most recent crash happened Wednesday, and there’s still debris left over.

People who live in the area say this happens all too often and that they fear for their lives and their property.

“These kinds of crashes should not be happening on any residential street,” said Joseph Aguirre, spokesperson of the Lead-Coal Safety Brigade.

But sadly, residents say time and time again – this is what they get.

APD says, fortunately, no one was hurt after a car ran a stop sign at Coal and Morningside Wednesday.

“One of the vehicles rolled over, and didn’t just go over, but rolled over onto the sidewalk, immediately adjacent to a home,” said Aguirre. 

They say it doesn’t help that the city removed a mobile speed cam on Coal, after the one on Lead was stolen, back in June.

City officials say they will install new cameras soon.

“What we came up with was an option to make the cameras in a fixed capacity so that they’re more permanently attached to, say, a light pole or a structure that’s already existing in that area, rather than the mobile device that was there, which I believe was it was sitting I believe in the sidewalk,” said APD spokesperson Rebecca Atkins. 

“We’re expecting the new cameras to be operational either this week or next. So looking at the middle of August at the very latest,” said CABQ Department of Municipal Development spokesman Scott Cilke.

They also plan to implement a “rest-in-red system” along Lead and Coal, before the end of the year.

“What it is, is a system where at specific intersections, the intersection can actually detect oncoming vehicles, and if they’re traveling at a speed higher than the desired speed or the speed limit, the intersection will give them a red light causing them to, you know, obviously, hopefully, stop at the intersection, and then give them a green light once they’ve stopped,” said Cilke. 

But if you’re going the speed limit or below, the light will stay green.

The city hopes these changes and possibly others down the road will make the area safer.

“We just had a road safety audit completed in the area, we’re awaiting the official findings from that, once we get those official findings, we’ll be able to respond to that safety audit, and then have a better understanding of next steps for safety measures within that area,” Cilke said.

While city councilors are discussing new initiatives, we’re also seeing the effects of some older ones just getting off the ground, namely automated speed enforcement.

KOB 4 checked in with the city to see how far they are from reaching their goal of 12 cameras across the metro.

“We’re already seeing, in some areas, reduction in speed where those cameras replaced,” said Cilke.

As of July 22, just under 5,000 New Mexicans have received a warning in the mail and more than 4,000 got $100 citations.

Several hundred of those warnings and citations were given to drivers on Lead and Coal before those cameras were removed in June.

“One of those was stolen, which made us take the other one back off to prevent it from being stolen as well. So right now, we are placing fixed cameras along Lead and Coal,” said Cilke. 

“We’re doing everything we can to get it back up and running as soon as possible,” said APD spokesperson Rebecca Atkins. 

APD says new cameras should be up and running within a couple of weeks, along with several others across the Duke City.

“It’s Lomas, which is just west of Wyoming, San Mateo, north of Montgomery, Central and Rio Grande area, and then Unser, near Western Trail,” said Atkins.  

Officials say drivers have paid more than $96,000 in speeding fines, since cameras across the metro went live on May 25.

“And we’ve had, I believe, close to 60 people sign up, and quite a few already have completed the community service. So it’s a great alternative to folks who either can’t, you know, take on paying that right now, or would like to help out the community to pay off that, that citation,” Atkins said. 

The city says seven cameras are active now, with plans to have 10 up and running by mid-August. Officials say to play it safe and slow down.