ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Residents in a community near Kirtland Air Force Base want drivers to stop using their neighborhood as a shortcut. They have started a petition calling for a gate to block traffic from their community.
Residents in the Willow Wood community tell KRQE News 13 it is a safety issue. They think a gate blocking direct access out of the community would stop a lot of drivers from cutting through during rush hour.
“Unfortunately, they’re in a rush, they speed through the community, and they are cutting once they get to Eubank,” said Jonathan Hollinger, president, Willow Wood Home Owner’s Association.
Residents of the Willow Wood community want drivers who work in the Kirtland Air Force Base and Tech Park areas to stop using their neighborhood as a shortcut.
“People having kids, wanting to ride their bikes don’t feel safe, elderly people, and it’s just dangerous. People speed through the community,” said Hollinger.
The homeowner’s association started an online petition and have also sent out mailers to gauge resident support. Calling for a gate to block thru traffic from exiting one of the three entrances to the community, it would block the fastest route to the area where a lot of people work.
“It won’t stop people from coming into the community, but once they realize it’s no longer an exit, have to travel out of the community and double their work time; we foresee that being the last time they do that,” said Hollinger.
Residents have also contacted the city. City officials said the next steps would be assessing the problem through an official traffic study.
“They have submitted their request for this area to be looked at to have a study done,” said Mark Motsko, City of Albuquerque’s Dept. of Municipal Development. “We’re currently working with the councilor in the district to see what we can do as far as funding that study.”
And the city said a gate is not the only solution.
“Now we have more than 40 different devices, traffic engineering, how to address speeders or people cutting through,” said Motsko.
But residents feel — a gate — would accomplish the larger goal set out by the homeowner’s association.
“Our goal is to make this a nice neighborhood, safe for all residents,” said Hollinger.
The homeowner’s association said the main reason for the petition is to gauge resident support for installing a gate. They will close the petition after two months in early November.
The city said this community is on public streets, and further studies will be needed before recommending the best solution.