ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There’s a construction zone for the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project in the middle of Central in Nob Hill, but that hasn’t stopped people from walking right through it to get to their favorite spots across the street.
“It’s, I think, a safety hazard because you see pedestrians running out in between the median like trying to dodge cars and stuff,” Michelle Traynahm said.
It is people who don’t want to walk several blocks for a crosswalk to get to their Nob Hill destination that is actually just across the street.
“I’ve got a really bad knee, but you’ve got to walk two or three blocks out of your way to get to where you want to go,” Dave Lyons said.
Instead, people are just going through the construction zone where the median on Central has been torn out, maneuvering in and out of the dirt ditch that is there now.
“Please do stay out of the construction zones,” said Michael Riordan, chief operations officer for the City of Albuquerque. “There are areas to cross safely and legally, and we would continue to encourage people to use those.”
The city said crosswalks didn’t exist at the intersections where people are going through the construction zones before ART, so people should already be in the habit of walking around.
“The only places that we’re moving medians were mid-blocks where they shouldn’t have been crossing before,” Riordan said. “That was jaywalking before and it remains to be jaywalking now.”
Pedestrians may remember crossings that reminded walkers to “look left” and “look right” but despite those markings, the city has said in the past that those were not considered crosswalks.
The city said the medians that were dug up will be paved over within the next month.
We did find some pedestrians who thought better of walking through the dirt.
“It’s disrespectful because people work there,” Maddie Neidhardt said.
Since the weekend, flags have gone up along some parts of the construction on Central.