Drivers ignore ART construction signs, city says signs are for safety

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Central Ave. is torn up because of ART construction, and it has frustrated drivers ignoring construction signs. Businesses tell KRQE News 13 some of those signs don’t need to be up yet, but the city said those signs are to keep everyone safe.

A sign on Central clearly reads “no left on Cornell.” And there is also a “no left turn” symbol at that intersection.

“We can’t have people turn left into active construction zones,” said Joanie Griffin, City of Albuquerque.

As KRQE News 13’s cameras were rolling, many drivers just ignored these signs all together. The city said the temporary signs during ART construction are for everyone’s safety.

“Do not make illegal left turns, the last thing you want to do is hurt yourself or hurt somebody else,” said Griffin.

Larry Rainosek owns Frontier Restaurant, which sits right on that corner. He said he has seen drivers make that left turn all week – despite the signs.

“I don’t see that it’s any more dangerous to make the left turn,” said Rainosek.

And said he doesn’t understand why the left turn on Cornell is being singled out.

“We have it at Stanford. There’s another one at Yale,” said Rainosek.

His main concern? ART construction is hurting business.

“We’re experiencing between an 8 to 12 percent decrease,” said Rainosek.

The city said they understand the concerns of drivers and business owners on Central, and recognize the inconvenience during construction.

“No business is ever blocked off from access, so people just have to figure out the other ways to get there,” said Griffin.

But insists once construction is complete, Albuquerque roads will actually be safer.

“If you can’t turn left where you used to be able to turn, you’ll be able to go to the next light and legally there will be a u-turn,” said Griffin.

APD said even temporary signs during construction must be treated like any other posted traffic sign.

The city said it is working on a video explaining what the new traffic patterns will look like once the ART project is complete.

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