More on Those Motion-Detection Lights on Juan Tabo Boulevard

Following up on yesterday’s post on the 2017 walking fatality case at Juan Tabo and the Paseo de las Montanas multi-use path (between Menaul and Candelaria), I found this 2007 Albuquerque Journal story via pressreader on installation of the motion-detection flashing light systems placed at this and several other path/busy road intersections in Burque’s Northeast Heights:

flashing lights story 2007

Living deep in the South Valley, I don’t make it up that far in the Heights much and my interactions with these lights have been few. Since the post, I’m already hearing from nearby Heights residents and others more knowledgeable about these lights/crossings, and the reports are not favorable.  The word I consistently hear/read from folks is “confusing,” and “confusing” is not a word you want describing a crossing of Juan Tabo, Eubank, or Wyoming Boulevards.

Finding information on numbers of crashes over time at specific locations is generally hard. Data tends to be collected over stretches of roadway, e.g., Juan Tabo between Menaul and Candelaria, and not at each point along those stretches.

pci juan tabo
From the MRCOG “Pedestrian Composite Index” (PCI) online map. We’ll discuss this map and PCI in our next post.

As an example, just about nobody would know the death related in yesterday’s post happened precisely at Juan Tabo and Paseo de las Montanas if we hadn’t put in a public records request. Still, such precise information must surely exist. BB will continue tracking down who/which entity might have this info; if anyone reading this has it or a good lead to pursue toward getting it, drop us a line.

While more data collection concerning Juan Tabo/Paseo de las Montanas and other crossings with these motion-detection systems might help arguments for other, better, crossing treatments, BB is already getting the impression such data isn’t altogether necessary. These crossings are plainly dangerous*.

juan and phoenix closer

There’s also the bizarre aspect of these current treatments being considered crossings, not crosswalks, at least by some including the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). There are no “continental,” “zebra” or “standard” white line striping variants that distinguish “marked crosswalks” in the minds/policy of APD.  Thus, the victim in the November 6, 2017 case was determined at fault by the investigating officer.

One is beyond sorely tempted to just start cursing at this point, bluntly state this is a stupid crossing and an idiotic take on what constitutes a crosswalk, and bitterly walk away. But this is “Better Burque” and that understandable reaction won’t make our town better. Instead, BB simply recommends the current crossing treatments be changed/improved as quickly as possible.

To that end for those interested, here is a bit of information:

  1. The Juan Tabo/Paseo de las Montanas crossing is in Albuquerque City Councilor Trudy Jones’ district. Here is her City webpage.
  2. Her Policy Analyst (i.e., the person who does a great deal of the work in a City Councilor’s office) is Aziza Chavez. Her phone number is (505) 768-3106.
  3. If you haven’t contacted a/your City Councilor before, starting with the policy analyst often works best.
  4. If you happen to live in Ms. Jones’ District (here’s a map), you are especially encouraged to contact the Councilor and/or Aziza Chavez.
  5. Juan Tabo Blvd. is a City road, which makes this a bureaucratically cleaner situation than a City Parks & Recreation trail crossing a County or State road. Patrick Montoya is Director of the Department of Municipal Development (i.e., the Road Department). Here is his email address. His phone number is (505) 768-2310.

For those interested in making this crossing safer, good luck with your advocacy, regardless of whether it involves any of the info related above. For those attempting these motion-detection crossings, good luck and stay safe.


*If you feel otherwise and like the flashing light system, BB very much wants to hear your perspective as well. That sort of data collection is always welcome and important.



3 thoughts on “More on Those Motion-Detection Lights on Juan Tabo Boulevard

  1. I absolutely think treatment of this crossing should be improved as well. Personally, I would recommend some sort of HAWK signal there.


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