DOT plans to ‘enhance safety’ at intersection students and principal deem dangerous

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The principal of the Career Enrichment Center is fed up with all the crashes that happen where Mountain Road runs under the I-25 Frontage Road, and so are his students.

Patrick Argüelles is wondering how many lights and sirens, mangled front ends, rollovers and head on collisions it’s going to take for the state to make a change.

“It’s ridiculously dangerous,” Argüelles said. “We deal with accidents a couple times a week.”

He said he’s counted 11 since school started in August.

Thursday, Argüelles took video of a crash that left two passengers stuck inside their van. Then, Monday, another crash.

“We had a cow trailer towing about 5-6 cows,” he said. “It got into an accident, jumped the curb and ended up in the dirt parking lot by Embassy Suites and the cows got out.”

Argüelles said he can’t even keep track of all the crashes at the intersection of Mountain Road and the Frontage Road.

It’s located at the southeast corner of Albuquerque High School.

Argüelles said he’s called APD, the city and even the Department of Transportation (DOT).

In January, KRQE News 13 first told you about the concerns parents and students had about the intersection. At the time, DOT said crews visited the intersection in October 2016 after they received a few calls.

DOT said the review showed, “all the traffic control devices in place at the intersection should make for a safe one.”

So nothing changed. DOT also told KRQE News 13 that the department had no plans to revisit the intersection after the story aired.

Argüelles said his students took it upon themselves to write city councilors, asking for help.

“They did a huge letter writing campaign,” he said.

Ultimately though, the intersection belongs to DOT. The department said no one was available to go on camera, but sent updated plans for the intersection.

DOT plans to put an extra signal beneath the overpass, for traffic headed west on Mountain Road. It also plans to install a “signal ahead” warning sign for northbound to westbound, Frontage Road to Mountain Road traffic.

Argüelles is hoping whatever they do is enough.

“The day we have to call a parent and tell them that their child is on the way to the hospital will not be a good day,” he said.

DOT said the extra sign and signal should be in by the end of the year.
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