Central & San Mateo: Making Meaningful Changes to a Highly Dangerous Intersection

Recommended reading this morning and it ain’t Better Burque. The new “Pedestrian and Bike Road Safety Assessment: Central & San Mateo” may have a long and snoozy title, but it’s an important read on a very busy and very, very dangerous Burque intersection.

This report is the second produced in response to Albuquerque being designated a “Pedestrian-Bicycle City/State” by the Federal Highway Administration for the high incidence of injury/death of walkers/cyclists here. An earlier 2012 study, referred to as a “safety action plan” suffered from its area-wide generality; this new effort does a much better job of analyzing, with depth, the complex interplay of engineering and human behavior evidenced on our roads.

As a result, there’s much to chew upon in the report, and BB will just leave readers to it, for now, in picking out what they consider the tastiest, and often disturbing, morsels. One small example is the table below:


With the data above in mind, the report then makes the following observation:

For most legs the total time for pedestrians to cross the intersection is 33 seconds. When traveling at 3.5 feet per second, nearly all of these crossing times appear to be insufficient.

In simple math: Table data + observation = not a good situation.

Unfortunately, this is not an unsurprising finding, but the report doesn’t stop there and offers both more insights into the problems and far-reaching recommendations, suggestions that are much, much more likely to be implemented due to the depth of evidence upon which they are based.

In other words: read the report. Four stars, “thumbs up” and all that.


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