Drivers say I-25 San Mateo exit’s poor design causes backups

san mateo exit

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Drivers are frustrated a poorly designed exit off of I-25 is constantly backing up traffic, and they want to know why the state has not made an easy fix.

Exiting off of I-25 northbound at San Mateo, more drivers turn right than those who are trying to go straight onto the Frontage Road. However, there is not a lane designated just for right turns, so if one car is waiting at the light to go straight, it causes a backup.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation said it is aware of this traffic flow issue and has plans to designate a right turn lane at this intersection. DOT said it hopes to start construction at the San Mateo exit off I-25 later this year.

Drivers in Albuquerque say traffic is a reality they have to deal with, but the backup at the four-lane San Mateo exit is especially frustrating.  At this intersection, two lanes are designated left turn lanes, one is for going straight through, but the right turn lane also doubles as a straight lane, which causes a traffic flow issue.

The far right lane at this intersection is constantly backed up with more than a dozen cars, all stuck behind one car waiting to go straight through to the Frontage Road or back onto the highway.

KRQE News 13 video of the intersection shows most cars in the far right lane, turn right. Drivers tell KRQE News 13 this is poor design and they want the DOT to change the far right lane to a right turn only or add a right turn only lane.

“I see it backed up maybe about 10 to 15 cars,” said David Grabiel, a driver.

“There should be a right turn lane there so somebody can pull up there,” said Mark Larusch, a driver.

“It’s a no brainer, if there’s open space here to make a simple right lane, they should pave it up,” said Eric Hernandez, a driver.

Drivers were excited to hear the DOT has construction plans for this exit and immediately started thinking about how they will spend the few extra minutes they will save each day.

“Get home a little earlier, kick off the shoes, maybe throw on the TV,” said Eric Hernandez, a driver. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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