More changes coming to Atrisco Heritage area

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – There could be more traffic troubles and changes on roads surrounding an Albuquerque public school that has already been plagued with plenty of them.

Nearly a week ago, parents and Albuquerque Public Schools officials met to talk about the changes to improve traffic congestion and improve safety at the state’s largest high school.

Yet, with a new Kindergarten through 8th grade school moving in right next door, will those changes be enough?

APS broke ground on the new school in April on a 46-acre piece of property next to the high school. The district says the purpose of this new school is to ease overcrowding for students that go to Barcelona, Navajo or Rudolfo Anaya elementary schools or Harrison or Truman mid-schools.

APS says they’re expecting 1,300 students to attend, so what about the traffic in the area that has already been a problem? APS planners say there shouldn’t be that much more traffic, especially if students utilize buses. Plus, they say a one hour difference start time between the K-8th and Atrisco Heritage should help.

The city also has its own plans to help with traffic in the area. They’re based on the surge in development on the southwest side. Starting in late spring of next year, they’ll widen it to create two lanes in both directions. They should be wrapped up by fall when the new school is set to open.

APS hopes that will help with the possibility of more traffic once the new school is completed. Yet, officials say there’s even more work they’re considering.

“We do have additional roadways that are being constructed and an additional egress points that are being addressed out there,” explains APS Chief Operations Officer Ruben Hendrickson.

APS planners say Hendrickson is referring to the possibility of changes they’ll make on the southeast side of Atrisco Heritage. There’s no decision on that, yet. Officials say they’ll keep monitoring it.

APS says some of the changes already in place from the Atrisco Heritage problems should also help. Those include a fence to separate pedestrians and traffic on the west side of Atrisco Heritage, a reduced speed limit on Dennis Chavez and signs warning of traffic congestion.

This week they’re set to add another left turn lane onto Dennis Chavez to turn onto 118th.

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