City officials implement safety improvements to tunnel at 1st and Central

[anvplayer video=”5167601″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Blasting classical music in a downtown Albuquerque tunnel is just one technique the city is using to improve safety.

The underpass at Central and First street has typically been an area people want to avoid, but the City of Albuquerque doesn’t want it to stay that way.

“Make it so friendly and so safe, that people are no longer concerned about having to, you know, fear of being robbed, or any sort of vandalism that might take place,” said Patrick Montoya, CABQ’s Department of Municipal Development director.

With a budget of close to $67,000, city officials have made several updates in recent weeks that they hope will make a lasting impact.

“We want it to be loud enough that it discourages people from hanging out, but we also don’t want it so loud for the residents who live here,” said Montoya. “And it seems to be working. We’ve had campers here, and I’ve noticed in the last couple of weeks, no one is in this general area.”

City officials say they also added fresh coats of paint to cover graffiti and assigned crews to power wash walkways in this area twice a week. They’ve also beefed up security.

“APD has a presence more of a presence than they did before. So they’ll come throughout the day and patrol even at night, walk from one end to the other,” Montoya said. 

Metro security officers are patrolling nearby areas as well, and these are not the only safety updates in the works downtown.

“We’re looking at installing gates at Third and Fifth street so that it actually protects pedestrians that are downtown at night. We’re working closely with APD to improve the way that they barricade anywhere from Second to about Seventh Street,” said Montoya.