Study: NM dangerous for pedestrians, ABQ not so much

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A new study released names New Mexico as one of the worst for pedestrian crashes.

But Albuquerque faired better than other metro areas and the city says that’s because it’s making an effort to make streets safer.

“People don’t have patience to wait and things like that,” Randy Hayes said.

“What I’m seeing is a lot of rule breakers,” Jennie Gonzales said. “It’s a free for all.”

They’re talking about jaywalkers and people walking around not doing what they should.

A new study from Smart Growth America ranks New Mexico 11th in the country in the number of fatal pedestrian accidents per 100,000 with a little more than 3 between 2003 and 2010.

Albuquerque sees these kinds of accidents, not always fatal, fairly often. But the study shows the Duke City didn’t make its list of dangerous metros.

“The first thing you want to do when you’re born is walk, but people don’t know how to walk within our street systems,” Michael Riordan said.

Riordan is the director for Albuquerque’s Municipal Development wants to change that.

One of their notable projects, which is also mentioned in the study, are Lead and Coal streets.

“What we did with that roadway is turn it into a two-lane roadway with wider sidewalks, pedestrian amenities such as street lighting and tree canopies,” Riordan said.

Riordan says that keeps people on the sidewalks.

The city says it’s already working on areas near the Alvarado Transportation Center and Fourth Street Mall to make downtown more pedestrian-friendly.

Riordan says they’re re-thinking the way they build streets altogether.

“We’re just not building them for cars anymore,” Riordan said. “We’re building them for cars, bicyclists, pedestrians, really multi-modal.”

Riordan says in a majority of these accidents the pedestrian is at fault.

The city says with the help of federal money, it’s working to promote pedestrian safety.

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