ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There’s a new addition drivers will feel on along Central Avenue that’s warning people to stay in their lane.
With just over a month until the city says the new Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) service begins, crews are now carving out a new nine-mile long rumble strip bordering the dedicated bus lanes ART will use.
The jarring reminder can already be seen and felt on Central east of San Mateo. When your car hits it, you’ll know it’s there.
“It definitely got my attention, I thought I was in the wrong spot,” said Will, an Albuquerque driver who hit the new rumble strip on Thursday.
Right now, the strips are only carved out in a few spots, mainly east of San Mateo, but the city says they should be in place between the entirety of Coors and Louisiana boulevards in the next few weeks.
“We want to remind people to stay in their lane and not get in the ART lane as they travel up and down Central,” said Dayna Crawford, project manager for Albuquerque Rapid Transit.
Crawford says the rumble strip will be the only separating factor between regular traffic and ART traffic.
“A lot of people still think, unfortunately, that we’re putting in a concrete barrier, Jersey barrier, but we’re not. It’s the rumble strips (that will) remind you to stay in your lane,” said Crawford.
The bus service is expected to begin operation in November. When that happens, no cars will be allowed in the “bus only” lanes. Crawford says only ART buses and emergency vehicles will be allowed to use the dedicated stretch of roadway.
Crawford says the bus-only lanes will likely carry a learning curve for drivers.
“You just kinda have to pay attention,” said Crawford.
KRQE News 13 asked drivers Thursday what they thought about the new addition.
Tony, who initially didn’t notice the rumble strips said, “It’s not good for my rims, that’s about it.”
Time will tell as to whether or not the rumble strips will get the job done. Until then, drivers have mixed feelings about how effective it will be at keeping cars from taking a shortcut or making a new left turn lane.
“I’m sure it will be a deterrent,” said Will, who noticed the rumble strip on Thursday.
Another driver, Kathryn, told KRQE News 13 she didn’t see it working, saying “Probably not just because of the drivers here in Albuquerque, but hopefully.”
“Let’s just hope it does, (the city) probably spent a lot of money putting them there,” said Tony.
Ultimately the city says it chose a rumble strip because it’s more cost-effective, plus, it allows buses to freely move in and out of the “bus only” lanes, if necessary.