New signal lights proposed to slow traffic

traffic light

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One city councilor is taking a new tactic to slow down speeding drivers on Lead and Coal, just west of I-25.

City Councilor Isaac Benton is sponsoring a bill, calling for lights on Lead and Coal, at Walter St. SE.

He said the signals would be timed with the others along the route.

“If you just go a steady 30 or so miles an hour, you just roll right on through in a safe manner,” Councilor Benton said.

Before drafting a bill, he said he tried going to city engineers about adding the traffic signals but that didn’t work out.

“I asked and they said it’s not warranted,” Councilor Benton said.

People who live and work in the area have been concerned about drivers speeding through for years.

“It’s a beautiful neighborhood, but there are a lot of really scary moments,” said Misty Elliot.

“We have a racetrack from Broadway all the way up to the freeway,” said Samuel Kochansky.

Currently, drivers don’t go through any traffic signals on Lead and Coal between Broadway and I-25.

“It’s just a straightaway and people take advantage of it,” Elliot said.

Councilor Benton is proposing signals at the halfway points.

However, some are skeptical.

“I could definitely see a lot of drivers blowing through the light, which could cause probably more issues,” said Julianna Silva.

Brittney Turnbough lives in the area and thinks something should be done, but she doesn’t believe traffic signals will make a difference. In fact, she’s concerned it will make her living situation worse.

“I’m nervous as a homeowner that it might bring down the value of my home, and I’m not very comfortable with cars stopping in the area,” Turnbough.

Councilor Benton’s bill is currently in committee, not yet in front of the full Council.

The Councilor said signals are expensive, and it’s unclear where the money to pay for them would come from at this point.

The city has been trying to slow down drivers in that area for years, doing everything from reducing the number of lanes, restriping, and putting in wider sidewalks.

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